Christmas past

One of my fondest Christmas memories took place in my early teen years. The whole family was in my parents room watching TV one Christmas Eve. I kept hearing this noise in the next room. It sounded like we had a mouse. I mentioned it, but no one else had heard it.

A few minuets later, I heard it again. Again, no one heard it. The third time it happened, I got up to investigate. My brother Scott said he heard it and it was bats in the attic. Unlikely, I said. Bats hibernate in the winter. Even if there were any up there at this time of year, they would be asleep. I did what any self-respecting, bat-loving little sister would do. I demanded he prove it.

Scott, being certain I would chicken out, started to head to the attic stairs. Mom, being certain I wouldn’t chicken out, told Scott not to take me up there because I might get hurt.

All of this I met with suspicion because I had been up in the attic before and never had a problem. My dad said turning on the light would upset the bats. Ok. Case closed.

That was the night that dad took Dan and me for a ride in the car, looking for The Star. There was an alignment of planets that was supposed to be the star that the wise men saw. So we drove around on a rather overcast night, chasing a star. We caught a possible glimpse, but nothing definite due to the clouds.

When we got home, it was time for bed.

The next morning I found out the cause of the noise. No, not reindeer on the roof. It was my new pet rabbit. I named him Caesar Augustus — Gus for short. He was one cool rabbit. Grey circles covering his jaws, eyes and ears, with white bisecting the circles. His shoulders, front legs and his four little feet were white. The rest was grey. When he stood on his hind legs, it looked like he was wearing grey, old-man pants or hip waders. The grey came up under his armpits.

Gus was a fun rabbit. In the summer, we kept him outside in a pen. There was a dog house for him to sleep in, but he decided to dig a warren and use the dog house as a bathroom. On nice days, he’d hang out on top of the dog house of sit under the butterfly bushes. I’d sit and talk with him, pet him, or sometimes read to him. I’d let him out when I was there and we’d just hang together. I’d pick butter-and-eggs –one of his favorite vegetation delicacies.

I look back to that Christmas with Gus and family as a favorite Christmas.


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