NYU Black Renaissance Noire Winter 2014 - Page 120

“Sissy never leaves the house anymore. She’s scared of the rabbits. Two or three weeks back, she was outside, chasing one rabbit, I was standing in my back yard, saw it with my own eyes. Saw ‘em both running down toward the cemetery, when lightning struck a tree down yonder, just after the rabbit jumped behind it. Spooked her, I guess, because she come running back toward the house, went in through the pet door we cut out for her and Scout. Haven’t been able to get her to go outside since. Rabbits!” Jeff spit contemptuously on the ground. “Uh, so…but Scout still goes out with you, right?” I tried to distract him or at least get him off rabbits. “I call him Buddy, when my wife’s not around. He thinks he’s a dog, Comes out with me every night, just follows right along, as if he’s wearing a leash. Now, Buddy, he doesn’t pay the rabbits any mind.” Rabbits. Here we go again. “There’s an army of them, I tell you. Evenings, I see them across the street nibbling on Kay and Bill Skerret’s mums, I caught ‘em peeking around the corner of the Wilson’s house in the cul de sac.” 118 “My father used to say the same thing about the rabbits in our neighborhood,” I said, smiling nervously. Jeff didn’t have to wonder where his long-eared interlopers came from. The nearest ones resided right in my backyard, because I had elected not to clear the foliage back there in the farthest corner of my property where I knew they lived. When the crepe myrtle split down the middle and a hurricane brought the mature chinaberry tree down on top of it and the ivy started taking over everything back there, I just let it go. I mowed up to the tangled part and let the rest of it alone. When we moved in twenty years before, Jeff had said, “We don’t need a fence between us. Makes your yard look small, feel small.” I said, “‘good fences make good neighbors.’” “Aw, that’s just some joker who lived in the city all his life. This is Comity Grove where “good neighbors live in good peace,” just like the motto on the sign says when you enter our neighborhood.