On the side of an empty stretch of highway, I found a little white stuffed rabbit sitting in the winter-dead grass. It wore a red dress patterned with bursts of yellow flowers. From beneath the hem, fuzzy feet poked out front, seemingly sat there and left behind. Black button eyes turned down toward the toes, as if deep in contemplation.
A breeze ruffled the rabbit’s long ears as I stopped close by, frowning downward. When my shadow fell over it, the rabbit looked up at me.
“I’m too tired to keep going,” it explained. Its front paws hung loose at its sides and it slouched over a little. The posture of the weary.
My mouth quirked. “I understand that. Where are you going?”
“I’m not really going anywhere,” said the rabbit. “Just going.”
A glance around in all directions revealed nothing nearby. Just miles of brittle brown grass and a long stretch of highway. The wide sky above had that navy blue quality that promised cold rain. “In that case,” I said, “I’d suggest finding a place to stop wandering. Only this is not a good place.”
The rabbit’s gaze found the tips of its toes again. “It’s as good a place as any.”
Nothing more did the rabbit say. After a minute, I turned my feet back toward the road.
But I hesitated. “Looks like we were headed the same direction,” I observed. “Would it help… if I walked with you awhile? Until you find a better place?”
Still the rabbit said nothing. At last, I trudged back to the highway shoulder. But behind me, I heard a crunch of grass, then gravel.
The little stuffed rabbit stepped up beside me, looking improbable. “Okay,” it said. “Just until I find a better place.”
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Little Blue Marble 2022: Warmer Worlds
Featuring “I Hope This Email Does Not Find You!”
The last eight years have been the warmest on record.
Little Blue Marble‘s anthology of speculative climate fiction and poetry from an international slate of authors mourns and hopes in equal measure for the fate of our world and its ecosystems.
May these visions of the future inspire collective action before climate chaos becomes irreversible.
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