El conejo ojo negro "The Black Eyed Rabbit"

~ A story from Mexico ~

When Pablo was 8 years old his family left Mexico, his American mother and Mexican father and they moved to National City in the United States of America.

Pablo attended a new school and he was in the 3rd grade. Soon he was having some problems at school, fighting with other children.

One day Pablo saw a family that had a golden retriever dog. He told his parents that he wanted one and asked if they could have a dog too.

"We can offer to buy him a dog if he improves his grades by the end of the school year?" The parents talked it over with his school teacher and agreed that this was a good idea.

Pablo was very excited about this opportunity and he managed to stay out of trouble. During the weeks before his report card came out he began researching the cost of golden retrievers.

“Four thousand dollars!” said Pablo. He didn’t know they cost that much! Pablo knew his parents could not afford a pure bred golden retriever for that price tag.

“Mom you told me I could get any dog I wanted,” said Pablo.

“Yes but let’s go to the dog pound to see what kind of dogs they have and maybe you will see one you like better,” said his mother.

So the family, mother, father, 2 younger siblings and Pablo all went to the dog pound to help Pablo pick out a dog for his accomplishment.

"Some of these dogs are going to be put to sleep very soon,” said the kennel worker.

“Killed?” asked Pablo.

“Uh-huh,” said the employee.

“Which ones are going to be put down next?” asked Pablo.

“Well,” said the employee. “See that big fluffy white one? They say he was aggressive and he jumps on people.”

Pablo saw an enormous 150 lb dog with long white fur that was smiling at him.

“Can I pet him?” asked Pablo. The kennel worker opened the gate and the dog stood up and wagged his tail. Pablo got closer and the dog leaned up against his legs. Pablo patted the dogs back and felt how dense and fluffy his fur was.

Pablo knew this was the dog he wanted. His mother was frowning. This was not the animal she had in mind.
“Please mom, dad?” plead the 9 year old child.
“Ayuda me?” said his mother to his father.
Pablo’s father looked back at her with a compassionate shrug of his shoulders. “What do you want me to say?”
“Remember mom you said I could have any dog I wanted?”
“Okay fine,” said the mother with a smile and the family went home happily with their new pet. They called him Snowy.

After a few weeks Snowy had become a problem. He had been eating the neighbors chickens and doing many mischevious things. The parents had decided to send the dog to live with Pablo’s uncle and relatives in Mexico.

Pablo was fine with the idea because it was almost summer and he was going to stay with those relatives over the summer.

Pablo’s uncle's neighbor married an Indian woman that was beautiful as a favor to her people. She never fully learned how to speak Spanish and somehow the couple resented each other over many things. They lived alone with their 2 maids called house assistants. The wife raised rabbits and the couple had no children.

When Pablo arrived in Mexico he was so happy to see his relatives and Snowy. They laughed about how big the dog was, they said it looked like a small horse. His uncle had many fun things planned for him to do. Pablo watched his great grandmother sweep the dirt floor with a broom.

The first day Pablo was there, Snowy had killed one of the the neighbors rabbits. It was a little brown rabbit and Snowy carried it in his mouth just like he used to do with the chickens back home and then he would throw it down and begin to devour it.

The neighbors were shocked. Pablo apologized and asked them what he could do to make up for it? The house assistant said you must tie up the dog if it happens again. Pablo did not want Snowy to be tied up in any way. He knew Snowy had already suffered enough as a pound animal. No further incidents happened and the summer went well. Pablo had a lot of fun. Every morning he would see the beautiful India petting her black eyed rabbit.

A week before Pablo was scheduled to leave he heard the neighbors having a horrible argument next door. There seemed to be some kind of physical violence, some kind of commotion. It ended with the wife bawling in grief. He did not know what it was about. The next day all seemed to be back to normal.

The day before he would take a taxi to the airport, Pablo awoke hours before dawn. Usually Snowy slept in his room with him but when he looked around he was alone. Pablo went outside as quietly as possible to look for the dog. Instantly there came Snowy, trotting towards him in the moonlight with a stiff object in his mouth.

"Let go," whispered Pablo to the dog. Snowy put down a rabbit. It was already dead and covered in dirt. Pablo saw the black patch of fur over the rabbit's eye. It was the neighbor's wife's favorite rabbit, the same one he would see her petting every morning. Pablo began to panic - What should I do? He didn't want Snowy to be in trouble. Pablo took the prized rabbit inside and rinsed off the dirt with warm water and soap. He carefully positioned the rabbits little legs back into place under its body like it was sitting. He shut its eye lids. He took the rabbit back to the hutch and placed it inside on top of a bed of straw next to other sleeping rabbits. This way no one will think Snowy killed it, thought Pablo.

Pablo was awakened a few hours later to the sound of the adults talking in low, serious tones of voice. The neighbor's wife was crying again and the two house assistants were on their knees by the rabbit hutch praying.

"What happened?" said Pablo's uncle.

"That rabbit died three days ago," said the neighbor. "She buried it. For some strange reason when my wife went outside this morning her favorite rabbit was back inside the hutch with no explanation."

- Andrea Boggs