He remembers one night – when Peter was about twelve summers old – that he and his best friend were sitting in the light of the dusk, puffing a found cigarette butt and talking about love.
Peter’s pal was excited about the prospect of kissing a girl – a human girl – and although Peter went along with the conversation, he couldn’t stop himself feeling empty and lonely inside. Peter wanted to tell his best friend in all the world, that on the outside he might look human but on the inside, he was most definitely a rabbit.
As the days continued into weeks, and the weeks bound together to make months, Peter felt more and more that he would be happier in this life, if he lived it as a rabbit.
One of the kinder teachers in school had noticed the differences in Peter and told him that if he ever need to talk, he could call on her at any time. Peter made a lying smile, and told her that he was happy, thanks for asking, but he felt happier than he had ever felt.
That year, the head of the government in Peter’s country changed the law about promoting being different in schools. It was against the law to talk about wanting to be anything other than human, so Peter’s teacher could no longer talk to him about his feelings of being different. It was said that many humans who had felt that they should be animals wanted took their own lives. Peter never forgave the head of the government for that.
When he was a teenager, Peter and his family went to church. It was there that the vicar gave a sermon on the topic of being what God made you. If God had wanted a person to be a rabbit than he would have created them as such.
Peter wondered about the fact that God might have made you a human who thought that they should be a rabbit. Peter hadn’t invented his rabbit desires – so how could it be a sin to believe what was in your head?
Some of the kids in school suspected that Peter was not really human and would call him names or make rabbit ears behind his head. Peter knew that these kids came from homes, where difference were ridiculed, because the people in those homes were scared of differences.
One day, on his eighteenth birthday to be exact, he sat his mother and father down and told them the truth about wanting to be a rabbit. His mother cried, and paced about the room, saying that it was all right to be who he was, but she would have loved human grandchildren. His father stood up, went upstairs and threw all Peter’s belongings into the road. He was never to darken their doorstep again – whatever that meant.
He never did.
Peter went to the big city and found that some folks were bad, and some were good – probably more of them were good, he decided. Then one night as he passed a little café, he saw a whole warren of rabbits sitting having coffee and talking. He wasn’t alone. He cried.
It took him several more years to have the operations but in the end Peter became the rabbit he had always dreamed of. He found a lady rabbit who was an ‘Ex’,as they called it (ex human), and they adopted several little rabbits to bring up as their own.
Peter knew deep down that if any of his children grew up and wanted to be human (because it was in their hearts) then he would never stand in their way.
bobby stevenson 2018