The Day My Mother Ate Her Rabbit

rabbit-matryoskaMy Mum read me lots of stories when I was a little poppet and also told me stories “from her head”. My Mum also has an amazing assortment of true stories. I thought I would share this one with you (with her permission) as it is one of my favourites.

This story is set in Hungary when my Mum was nine years old. Mum wrote it down and emailed it to me the other day. So here it is.

***

 

About that rabbit (as told by my Mum)

It was December 1944. The Russians and Germans  were still fighting  but not in the village we found ourselves in. But some soldiers stayed behind and  two of them stayed in our only room,  sleeping on the only bed we had, so we had to sleep on the dirt floor on straw. I contracted  typhoid from them and got very sick.  So to make me feel better, when all my hair fell out too,  my father got me a lovely pure white  little bunny. I started to get better  and practically had to learn to walk again. I was skin and bone! My father cut a chunk off a dead frozen horse and my mother cooked  soup only cutting off a bit of it each time.  I only could eat a broth.

The bunny was so attached to me and followed me like a puppy. As the snow melted the bunny found green shoots and grew and grew…I was 9 years old…but my dear mother wanted me to “grow” too (and wanted my hair to grow back).  So they made my bunny disappear. I was looking for it but they told me  it probably went too far looking for greens or a wolf got it. But on that weekend we had lovely crumbed  “chicken”  for dinner.  The Russians took everything so I was very surprised  that my father could get a chicken?!  Well it tasted like a crumbed chicken drumstick and we hadn’t eaten something like that for months. But I didn’t give up looking for my bunny. When my brother had enough of “looking for the stupid rabbit “ he told me, “you ate it”!

Well I haven’t eaten rabbit since, not for 70 years. I would rather starve.  In April 1945 we moved to Budapest  and found a half-built house in Budaors, 11km from Budapest. And my father  started breeding chinchilla rabbits. We sold the fur and the meat. My mother sometimes cooked it , but I would never touch it. End of story.

***

I hope you enjoyed my Mum’s story. Oh, and her hair did grow back luscious and thick.

Best regards with a hippitty-hop, Betty-Rose

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2 responses

  1. Do you think your mum would mind if I shared her story with my Senior English kids? Both my Year 11s & 12s are currently doing short stories and I’m always looking for new stimulus to throw at them – your mum’s story is a cracker!

    1. I think it would be OK to share Mum’s story with your Year 11s and 12s. War, a frozen horse and a missing rabbit result in a winning plot.

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