black and white rabbit in the grass
Welcome to the Jungle
by Ian Hunter

You wanted a rabbit
We wanted you to ride your bike
without stabilizers
I took them off with a spanner
and we headed downhill
to the Jungle

It’s gone now that patch of land
with a grassy stretch
overgrown trees
the remains of old buildings
and a huge heap of earth
the kids called Muddy Mountain

I ran behind you
holding the back of the bike
which wobbled then straightened
going faster and faster
like your legs
fists tight on the handlebars

Are you holding on!
you shouted
Yes, I answered back
Are you holding on!
Yes, I lied
Opening my hand
grinning as you left me behind

The rabbit was black and white
You called him Cuddles

PHOTO: “Black and white rabbit in the grass” by Jonnysek, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Welcome to the Jungle” was written entirely from memories of trying to get my son Alex to ride his bike without stabilizers [training wheels], which hadn’t been going too well until the inducement of getting a pet rabbit was introduced. Sadly, the “Jungle,”which included Muddy Mountain and a path that wound its way through the remains of old buildings and chimneys, and was a magnet for children all around, is now a housing estate.

ian hunter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ian Hunter lives in Scotland, where he is a Director of the Scottish Writers Collective “Read Raw” and a member of the Glasgow SF Writers Circle. He is also poetry editor for the British Fantasy Society and reviews for Interzone, Concatenation, and Shoreline of Infinity. His poems and short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK, USA, and Canada, and he is the author of three children’s novels.