When all was Simple

White Rabbit

“Look what I found,” said my dad as he came home. 

He had biked home from the college nearby that he attended. He was carrying a white rabbit with him as he entered the backyard. He found it on the bridge above the empty river behind our house. It was quite big to me and had bright red eyes. This was technically the first pet my family has ever had, except for the fishes, of course. My mom pulled a packet of baby carrots that we got from school lunches from the fridge and handed a couple of carrots to my sister and me. The rabbit didn’t eat the carrots at all, but instead went straight for the abundance of vegetation that was around the backyard. This upset my grandma, who had been growing those plants out to eat for a while now. 

We didn’t know what to do with the rabbit. Having never owned one, we didn’t know if it needed warmth, a special shade of light, or anything else. Out in the yard, it stayed all night. By day it explored the yard, eating away at the plants, and by night it tucked itself in one of the old sofa chairs lying outside.

This went on for about a week until one day the rabbit died. It had gone under the gate and got caught in a crab trap lying on the other side of the gate to dry. I guess it can be considered my first funeral since we buried it in the backyard. I was sad that my rabbit died. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be contained.

Courtesy of Unsplash

The Knight in Shining Armor

Warmth and protection are two things that are nice to have, especially when it’s raining or cold outside. Today, it was raining and I couldn’t be happier to have an oversized gray raincoat and a black umbrella to go to school with. The raincoat, thick and heavy, was equipped with a hood that extended over my face. The warmth that it kept trapped in made me forget that I was standing outside, in the rain and cold. The umbrella, light and small, was just big enough to protect me from the pellets of water falling down overhead. I truly felt invincible against the rain. The umbrella, my weapon of choice for today, was protecting me from any water. And for those cold beads of water that managed to not get stopped by the umbrella, they couldn’t even penetrate my raincoat to steal my warmth. For the time being, I was the knight. With my sword and armor, I was unbeatable.

No knight is complete without their armored steed. Every time it rained, my mom would always come home from work early to pick my siblings and me up from school. The car ride home on a rainy day was better than any other car ride. The sound of the rain hitting the roof of the car and not my head, the little drops of water satisfyingly sliding off the window, and the smoothness of the road on the way home made it relieving, like outrunning a dragon just in time. These rare occasions were always a treat to remember. 

Courtesy of Unsplash


“Alright, nap time,” my parents would say to my sister and me every day. 

We didn’t actually sleep though. Some days we would be tired and sleep, but most days, it was free time for us to do whatever we wanted. Run around the room, great, jump on the bed, fantastic, play games on the Ipad that we shared, awesome.

“Pretend to sleep,” my sister said to me as we both hurried to our beds at the sound of the slightest movements towards the room. 

When we all were quiet, we would “wake up” and go back to what we were doing again. It was like playing a game while playing games. We had the power to do whatever we wanted as long as we avoided getting caught.

Everything was great unless we got caught. It happened several times and they were always loud. Getting yelled at never stopped us from doing it again and again. We were not bad kids, just kids that wanted to have fun, even if it meant disobeying our parents. 

Courtesy of Unsplash


My favorite pets of all, turtles. They were big enough to play with and hold, but they were never loud and didn’t run around much. I had three turtles, each unnamed. I also had a ground turtle, unnamed, that I liked more because it didn’t bite like the turtles. The ground tortoise was always carefree. It roamed around the backyard, munching on the variety of vegetation that grew. Occasionally, it would wander off so far, it would slip under the gate into our backyard and leave. Our neighbors had to bring him back three times. The turtles however were much too fast on land. They were contained in this box that we used as a miniature pond for them. We only took them out occasionally to play with, and even during those times, it was hard to put them back. No matter their differences, I loved all of my turtles and tortoises. 

It was unfortunate that the ground tortoise died and we had to release the turtles. There was simply no time left, to play with them and make sure they are fed and cared for. No time. Without time, I was not able to let them out and roam around freely as I often did. They were confined in one place, swimming, swimming, swimming aimlessly in murky water that was changed once a week. When letting them go, there was a hint of sadness. I reflected on all the times I spent with them, but it was for the better that they go spend their time, not limited in any space.

Courtesy of Unsplash

Let Me Out

At the top room of the house, there was a window, a look out into the yard down below. It never had anything exciting, just a backyard with unknown plants growing here and there, vines along the back and sidewalls, and multiple contraptions keeping weaker plants upright. Behind the backyard was a river that was always dry; that too had nothing interesting. Looking into the streets or other houses to see what is happening outside was only possible through the front door, a forbidden place without adult supervision. Every day off from school, I was stuck in a place that secluded me from the rest of the world. Entering the backyard was an option, but it was still confining because of the tall maze of prickly dragon fruit trees. 

I had plans for what I was going to do when given the opportunity to go outside to the front. 

  1. Head to park
  2. Ride my bike
  3. Walk as far as I can
  4. Breath in all the air from the outside

That was about all I did from my plans. Outside, with the cool air filling my lungs, the gentle breeze passing by, breathing was about all I wanted to do then. I just took a breath and let myself be seen from everyone’s lookout, not get lost in mazes, not be stopped by any door.

Courtesy of Unsplash

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