LOST PINKY RABBIT by JoLynne Buehring
I stood on the seat and pressed my face against the back window of our little truck as Mama drove away from the house as fast as she could. This wasn’t the first time we ran away from That Man. Both of us were afraid he would wake up and follow us. It had happened before, and going back was worse than staying.
I couldn’t see the house anymore, but still kept watching. I didn’t cry until the wind from a big truck caught the paper grocery sack and whipped it out of the back of our pickup. I yelled at Mama to stop, but she kept driving.
“We can’t stop now. He’ll catch us if we go back. I’m not going to do this again. One of us’ll die if we do.” She kept talking, and I quit listening. Tears were making my tee shirt wet and my nose was running. I knew she wasn’t listening to me. I screamed inside when a car hit the bag, scattering my clothes on the road, and a car ran over Pinky.
Pinky was my bestest, only friend. A nice policeman gave him to me when we ran away two times ago, when I was four. The bunny always hid with me when That Man started yelling at Mama. Pinky went everywhere with me, but this time Mama stuffed him in the bottom of the bag she put my clothes in. She was moving really fast. She promised we wouldn’t have to hide anymore if I hurried, hurried, hurried.
My bunny’s pink body was a little dirty, and he’d lost one of his eyes, but he knew all my secrets and the best hiding places. He was good to hug. What was I going to do now? I was all alone. Mama was still talking, mostly to herself, and she didn’t even care that Pinky was gone.
I sobbed until I couldn’t cry anymore. I wiped my nose on my sleeve.
The road went over a hill and around a curve, and I lost sight of the spilled bag and my friend Pinky. I was so tired. I slid down onto the seat, curled into a ball and fell asleep. I woke up when my mother stopped outside a grocery store to use the pay phone. I didn’t know where we were or what time it was, maybe afternoon. We’d left just before the sun came up. I was still in my pajamas because she was in such a hurry to leave. Now I didn’t have any clothes to wear.
Still talking to herself, mother got back into the pickup, but didn’t start it.
“Where are we going?”
“We have to wait here for a little bit until a policeman comes. He’ll show us where to go.”
I fell asleep again listening to, “He’s never going to do that again … I’m not going to let … I should have ….”
I woke when I heard a man’s voice ask, “Is he likely to be armed? What kind of vehicle will he be driving?”
I rubbed my eyes, trying to pay attention, but I didn’t understand all they were saying. After they talked a little more, he said, “Just follow me, ma’am.”
He led us around in circles to an alley where we could leave the pickup. A gate in a big, high fence opened, and a lady let us in. She hugged my mother and said, “You are doing the right thing. Come on in.”
Now I understood. I remember being here before. That was when the nice policeman gave me Pinky Rabbit.
I wonder what kind of animal I’ll get this time.