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The Ungetaway
Rick Jacobel
 
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While driving down the road, I decided to stop at this bar in the nearby town of _______ (population 65). The place looked like it had been lifted out of "Ghost Town" in Knotts Berry Farm; only it was for real. I inquired if they served dinner, and the barkeeper/owner looked at me like I was the first person to ask that question in 10 years. Then he said that he was, in fact, just getting ready to fire up the grill.
illustration
I began to wander around the room and look at all of the stuff hanging on the walls, when I noticed that along one of the back walls was a long floor-to-ceiling cage. I went over to the cage and saw that it was occupied by a boa constrictor. Then I also noticed a terrified skinny half-starved 14-week old (about) white rabbit waiting to be eaten. Her ear was partially chewed up and her nose had a big cut on it. I noticed a padlock on the cage door, but the door was itself unstable and could easily be bent. I rapidly walked outside and threw up; and then I began to work on a plan.

My original impulse was to walk back in there, real macho-like and rip the door off the cage, reach in, and liberate the rabbit. I started to visualize how it was going to go: I saw myself stomping out of the bar, with this half-starved little rabbit in my arms, and I saw myself walking out in the gravel parking lot to my getaway car. And then I realized that my getaway car was a 1969 VW bug with 140,000 miles on it and that the tires alone on every other vehicle in the parking lot were bigger than my entire car. I further realized that even if I started my car, floored it, and popped the clutch, the engine would probably stall in the gravel.

What I ended up doing was walking up to the barkeeper and saying that I'd like to buy his rabbit. At first he couldn't figure out what I meant, and then he said, "Yes sir, that rabbit costs $14."

The twang in his voice sounded like one of Burt Reynold's friends in the movie "Deliverance." He was a real businessman. I left the bar with the rabbit and witout having eaten dinner.

Epologue

The Ungetaway Revisited

An interesting sideline to the story of the rabbit I rescued from the boa constrictor ("The Ungetaway," HRJ Spring 1996) is that as part of a trauma therapy that I used to heal her, I would give her a metal ball of rings which she used to pick up in her mouth, then growl, shake her head, and fling back at me as hard as she possibly could. I would catch the ball and gently roll it back to her. She would then pick it up and do the same thing again. After about a year, her anger subsided and the exercise became just a fun game of catch.

A testament to the healing that has taken place is that today, out of the three house rabbits I live with, she is the only one who licks my face as a sign of affection.

Rick Jacobel
Oakhurst, CA


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