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Thursday, 27 January 2005
I, George II
Now Playing: NoBunny OnAlone - EBBER!

Dis is such a sad day. Da Black Rabbit has comed for Our Oscar Ball.

Our Osacr Ball lived with Auntie Carla in a pwace called SoCal. Sounds wike "SoWhut", but it's called "SoCal" an it nebber rains dere at all 'ept for a liddle tiny bit - whih is sumfing I hab learned.

But Oscar's pickchur is ebberywhere. He is sorta the FACE OB PB cos he is onna Hareware shirts an totes. Maman wants an Oscar Tote now too, like she got for AunTammy who carries her tote to werk and brags to ebberybun dat she knows "da bunny onna bag".

And Maman wants to get Phil-da-Lad annuder Oscar shirt dat says "I don't do windows" cos Phil says Windows XP issa pain in his patoot, an Oscar kinda sums up Phil-da-Lad's Phillyosophy ob Lif.

Afta she read about Oscar, Maman put on Pakybell's "Cannon" to listen to (It's got nuffin to do wif guns or fings dat go *bang*).

A long time ago, in Inkland, she had a student who couldn't play the violin at all, but he loved this piece of music. He wassa 'dult and he came wif his kidlet to her community class to "go on" frum where he had stopped learning violin in school - which was like from the furst day's class.

He had hands as big as shubbles (as dey say up Norf in Lancashire), an sum peoples made fun ob him and sum peoples told him to his face dat he was too old an too stoopit for dis "cwassikal musik stuff" an dat it was "above him" but he had will, and inside his soul, which in many ways was dark and sad and full of hurt, he had delicacy. And dose are da fings dat Maman, nebber habbin learned aboud da udder fings, was waching for.

And he asked Maman if he could learn to play Pakybell's Cannon in her class.

And Maman looked at him and she thought to herself that he had the will, and there was hope in his eyes and yes, she could teach him - IF - and it was a rilly big "if" - he would follow through on his desire "to want". Cos many hoomins "Want" to play dis find or dat fing, and dey come to Maman and fink dat she will just somehow make it happen in a year or so, like waving a magic stick ober dere heds or speaking sekret werds.

Maman is a magician, but she cannot do "wants".

But dis person didn't "want". He wanted da music more den wadder, more den Craisins, more den nice werds frum odder peoples. An dat is whut she saw in his eyes.

So she ordered up the music. Not the cut-down, milk-with-toast, kiddies' music, but the real stuff that doesn't come wif pikchurs an potted hist'ries.
An den she found anudder violinist who wanted to sharpen his Grade 7 skills, an she sat down at her desk an adapted the 'cello part anna coninuoso part, she taught them Pakybells Cannon.

And since she was startin frumma beginning, she made a hole in their hearts that would just fit the music. She used tennise balls to hold their wrists away from their instruments and taught them to bow by slicing tomoatoes paper-thin wifout bruising da skin. She bought dem bags of peppermints to teach dem notes on lick'rish staves and spoke in Italian to dem, and made dem walk around "Andnte".

And most of all she played the music over and over until it came alive somewhere insdie of them. And on walks, she told them stories she made up about the music and tied the stories to the land over which they walked, so that here, beside a willow, a pony danced, and there, just down the Downham Road came a ships' Officer, long away at the wars. And she made them believe that this music was a background for life, that it played while the sycamore tree grew and the cloud patches dropped fitful gusts of rain across Pendle Hill.

And seated before her fire, she made them transcribe their parts on staved paper so that they knew the shape and feel and weight of each note, and how every note was as valuable as every other note, and how they dovetailed into each other, and how a "Canon" was not a "rondelay" and how music came to be and the mechanicas it used to touch the heart.

"I played it in my sleep!" one of them said one lesson.

And she asked if he played alone or with others and he said with others.

It wasn't until he could play his part, alone, all by himself, that she was pleased with him.

And so while the other teachers thought she was wasting her time not "teaching by the book" one technique after another, her two students got all the techniques as they were needed in Packybell.

These were Maman's last students. After that, her bones began to grind and the nerves were trapped and her hands lost their strength. She tried playing for only a quarter of an hour a day, but it only got worse. the dotors took pikcurs of her neck and shoulders - but Maman says you play the 'cello with the whole body.

And so, one day the 'cellist couldn't play, you see.

So maybe that is what it is with Oscar. He has made the Oscar-shaped hole in our hearts and showed us how to care for rabbits, and how to be rabbits of few words and outstanding presance. He has shown us how to be important just by being who we are.

Oscar with us, showed us the way - and not the rabbit-childer's way, but the full rabbit way - to love, to care, to roll into a ball and to bring joy to others. Just because he was here. Oscar showed us how to be rabbits of few words an huge presance. When he talked, we listened.

But like the 'cellist whose time is no longer to play, it's now not time for Oscar to be HERE. He has business elsewhere. Maman is still trying to find her place "somewhere else", but Oscar has found his place - being Oscar, a bun of few words and great heart.

Come and follow; come and be. We are all part of one great warren, linked by silver chains forged forged of golden links of love. The chain goes on forever, each link taking something from the link before it and passing it on to the link that comes after.

Maman has no notion what becane of her students. Their own lives may have dragged them down, their frailities perhaps overcame them, or perhaps they took their violins and soared like kestrels against the blue skies over Swanside Plantation. She always told them to leave their cases open, that someone would venture by and be drawn to play, that instruments call to the pure of heart in their own undiminished voices.

Maman's 'cello is closed so that it cannot call to her. It is fragile and old and needs work before it can be played. Maybe Dadda will get her a practice 'cello if someone helps him find one - but somewhere, close to the surface of Maman's heart, maybe deeper in other hearts, the music plays on if only as a faint memory.

And everyone who hears music in their heart is the better for it - because it speaks of a time when they were honest in their desires and their only wish was to have that music inscribed upon their hearts. It was a time of innocense and they were the better for it - just as we are the better for having known Oscar Ball, with his feets on the computer and his dark eyes shining, laughing at all our pseudo-seriousness.

Gentle Oscar, Belinda told me that where you are there is lovely music playing all of the time and the greenest grass you've ever imagined. When it's my turn, I'll come and join you. She said the burrows are swept and clean and just the right size for a bunny to roll into a ball. Hunny will show you the way. He was very wise. Just don't let Belinda talk you into "sumpwace bedder" - Hunny knows all the best places for lounging. So does Hawthorn. Belinda never was very good at lounging.

And I, George, will stay here until it's my time. I promised Belinda and I promised Hunny and I will do it. And look, Oscar! I've learned already that music is a language not exclusive to hoomins, that it has the power to heal, and the power to give - and so gently, too, that even the tears it inspires are soft, like the morning's newest dew. I can gather them from Maman's cheeks in my fur and lick Maman's nose and let her know that I know what every bunny in a Warren already knows - and you know it too, and so does Wally - that we are not afraid. The Cyrckle comes full turning, and we have more than Hope, we Know.

Until a little later, dear friend!

Posted by Our Warren at 2:39 PM EST
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