Not a Hare

Photo © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

 

“Mama,” Benny shook me. “Something’s in the bushes!”

I must’ve dozed off.

It had been nice to have the campgrounds for ourselves.

Till now.

“Perhaps a hare.” I tried. Would a campfire keep out cougars? I felt for my utility knife. Our only weapon. Ridiculous.

Benny frowned. “It’s crying.”

It was. My heart thumped as I stalked toward the sound.

My flashlight illuminated the tear-stained face of a child. A child?! She had to be younger than Ben. Alone?!

I gasped.

She shivered. Fear or cold or both?

“Come, Sweetie,” I cooed. “We won’t hurt you. Let’s get you warm.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

44 thoughts on “Not a Hare

    • Yes, and it leaves one wondering — where ARE her people. Did they leave her because they saw she might be safe? Did she find the woman and boy? How long has she been alone? What is going on? But … yes, for now she’s in safe hands, and I hope this mama will get some reinforcements in sooner rather than later … For there can be more dangerous things than cougars in the wild.

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  1. You’ve given us a story with a double twist. Our first thought is that the sound is a threat. Fear. Grim preparations. A knife. Second thought and twist number one “But it’s only a little girl. The poor mite!” Relief!

    Only then do we think in twist number two “Where did the girl come from? Where are her parents? Why are they hiding…?” And back comes the fear, only more so.
    Clever writing Na’ama!

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    • 🙂 Well, perhaps there will be more at some point … but it sure does leave more questions than answers … as many rescue stories of children can. And do.
      Some of my work involves working with children who were adopted from orphanages abroad, where often the history of the child is unknown for anything before they were brought to, left at, or deserted in the orphanage. Especially where infants are concerned, caregivers can only guess at the history and realities that child had lived and was exposed to. There is no one to tell their story, and more often than not, no letter pinned to the blankets. Very often, not even a name.

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    • Thank you, Rochelle. I think any rescue (or attempt at) is the beginning of a larger story even as it might be the continuation of a big story that had already began. …
      I left a response to Dawn’s comment to that effect, and as for the realities of ‘before’ and ‘what next’ that may have watered some of the seeds of this story. But, yes, it can go more than one way, and for that little one’s sake, things improve henceforth. …
      Thanks Rochelle!

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    • Indeed it could go both ways … and one can assume that at least for one of the characters, some horror had already taken place, be it intentional or accidental. I’m glad you saw the ‘two ways’ in this!
      🙂
      Thank you for the comment, Jennifer!
      Na’ama

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    • Yes, Iain, exactly! I think this does leave us wondering–as we should–what she’s doing there and how she got there and where her people are and whether whatever danger that had led to her isolation is lurking still. …

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    • Indeed only cold-hearted people will leave a child in a campground. Then again, we don’t know what the circumstances are, exactly. Was she left? Did she get lost? Is someone looking for her? Was there an accident and the adult/s she was with were hurt or died? Did she escape some kind of danger? Is danger – in whatever form – still nearby?

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    • Yes, at least for the moment she is in safe and caring hands. As for the questions that remain – on how she’d come to be alone and why and whether she (and others) are still in danger – it remains to be seen. But for the moment, yes, she’s in good hands.
      Thanks!
      Na’ama

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