The little bastard was going to monologue me again. Beanie was bad that way.
He let out an evil laugh before he announced, “The streets will run red with the blood of humans this night!” Then he laughed again.
“Mmm-hmm,” I answered.
“You have long underestimated us! You think that we are nothing more than creatures to serve you, but you are sadly mistaken.”
“Actually,” I interjected, “we think that some of you are delicious, too-”
“Silence, fool!” Beanie yelled. His nose twitched in what I assumed were spasms of rage, but it could have just been the lettuce I’d stashed for later. “You are fortunate that I will merely slay you, for it is not the way of my kind to consume the flesh of our enemies-”
“I’ve seen you consume the flesh of plenty of vegetables.”
“I SAID, SILENCE, FOOL!” Beanie stood up on his hind legs, his ears swiveling wildly this way and that. “While you are far too unpalatable for me to eat, if you anger me further, I shall kill you slowly and painfully to make an example of you to all of your kind.”
“Okay, Beanie, whatever you say, buddy.” I fidgeted with my hat as I sat and watched him bluster.
“I AM NOT YOUR BUDDY! CAN’T YOU SEE, THIS IS WAR!”
“War, you say. How do you figure? I only see one angry rabbit and no bunny army to back you up.”
Beanie raised himself up as tall as he could and did his best to scowl at me. He still looked 100% adorable. “The others of my kind will rise up with me in revolution! We shall throw off your mantle of oppression! No longer will we work to entertain you! No, we shall assume our proper role! We shall rule!” There was the evil laugh again.
I looked at my watch. Fifteen minutes to showtime. Stage fright always did a number on the poor little guy. I doffed my hat and held it out to my combination pet, partner, and best friend.
“Look, Beanie, I know it’s tough. I know it’s lonely. And I promise you that if I ever find another talking rabbit I will bring him-“
“-or her,” Beanie suggested with enthusiasm.
“-or her to you first thing. Until that happens, though, you need to lay low, ‘cause you know that other humans just aren’t as tolerant and understanding as I am.” I reminded myself that the sentient, talking rabbit was lousy to me for the same reason I was horrible to my parents when I was a teenager: there just wasn’t any other safe target for all those powerful emotions.
He glared at me for a few long seconds, nose twitching at me as if he were trying to sniff out my sincerity. For a moment there I thought he was about to monologue again, but then he asked me, “Do I smell romaine?”
I smiled as I answered, “Indeed, you do. I got it from the farmers’ market. It’s all organic, picked just this morning.”
His nose twitched progressively faster as I described the lettuce to him.
“Perhaps I will take a leaf while I ride within that top hat to the stage.”
“I think that’s a good idea,” I told him. I peeled off a huge leaf and placed it in my hat. Beanie hopped in after it. As I situated the hat, rabbit, and lettuce atop my head with care, I heard Beanie humming contentedly to himself.