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The Old Grey Hare

Picture, if you will, the theatre after the show. Sweepers clean the popcorn and candy boxes left by the crowds. A grey rabbit dangles his feet from the stage and crooks a gloved finger at you. You follow the rabbit onto the stage and he puts an arm round your shoulder. He’s shorter than you imagined from your seat in the audience.

He rasps quietly in a smoker’s Brooklynese and tells you a secret.

“Dignity can’t be bought. The sugar-glass replicas the rich and powerful buy and display ain’t the real thing by a long shot.” He opens a cigarette case, lights one, and offers it to you. He smokes it himself.

He continues. “How you respond under pressure, under the hunter’s rifle sights, that’s who you are. And you should always take a swing at the mug holdin’ the gun.”

You cough at his secondhand smoke. You want to tell him it’s unhealthy, but he’s rolling.

“There ain’t nobody,” he says, “but nobody, so big you can’t laugh at ‘em. Go forth and do ye likewise, doc.” He pats you on the back, stands, and clomps away on his big feet.

That’s all, folks.

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