The fate of the rabbit Aristarchus was not so hot. And now it was rushing like a pack of wild rabbits away from foxes in front of his very eyes with no desire to make another stop in order to revel in pity to itself.

Why Aristarchus, you ask me? Aristarchus himself did not know what sort of fox and in what sort of place once bitten these people who bought him from a local farmer only to put him into some traveling circus. To call him, Kosoy, as Aristarchus… that’s some silly clownery! But in this very circus, all five years of Aristarchus’s life flashed like those rabbits.

That was something to tell! There were hide and seek games in the magician's hat, there you could behold jumping above the rope, spectacular appearance out of the black boxes, not to mention the sprinting marathons inside the circus’s circle along with pigs, cats, and dogs. What kind of nonsense these silly laughing people forced Aristarchus to do! Circus, in a word.

“They bred and cheat you, gray one, for sure. I mean, to just eat you they just breed you. And they are doing the same with me, I feel it in my hooves,” pig Mary often lamented to him into his large rabbit’s ears after the regular circus performance.

“You are silly, fat one, to tell such fairy tales,” Aristarchus consoled her as often, while himself thinking in those moments: “Maybe, they truly cheat and breed?” And a knife-sharp sense of self-pity and hatred for his fate once again pierced his soft rabbit heart.

Years took their toll, you say? As a matter of fact, by rabbit standards, Aristarchus was still young enough – and stupid enough to once openly doze on the edge of the forest only to fall into the hands of the ill-fated farmer. To be honest, the farmer cured him and his wounded in the course of the last rescue from fox's paws leg but didn’t deserve Aristarchus’s love for that act of kindness anyway. “Such is my fate, probably,” Aristarchus bitterly sighed when the farmer gave him to the circus, “and there is no point in jumping against the fate.”

“You cannot escape the fate, Mary!” he loved to philosophize in front of the pig once in a while. “For she is like a fox – sooner or later she will catch you and eat in a flash of time!”

“You are silly, Kosoy, to tell such fairy tales,” Mary replied to him, while herself thinking in those moments: “Maybe, there is truly no escape?” And in such moments her hooves became weak, and she plopped down into the mud once again and bathed in it until the exhaustion until she was as dumb as a sheep.

Aristarchus also wanted to fall down together with her in the mud, or to drink water from puddles, but Mary repeatedly tried to dissuade him: “Don’t ever drink from there, Ari! You will either become a goat or will turn into a sheep! A drinking rabbit is a woe of the family!”

“I’ve had enough of your lamentations, sheep!” sheep Innocentus, or shortly Inoc, often interrupted their mutual spiritual outpourings. “Shut up, or I will gore that bullshit out of you!” The prospect of being gored to the death by this mad horned beast has always frightened both Mary and Aristarchus and during such moments they reduced the degree of own lamentations and complaints, though not for too long. Unlike cats, they had only one life – and when one can curse own fate if not in this one?

“And I could already have a family right now…” Aristarchus thought in such days. “Cute wife and pretty small rabbits… What was I thinking about? I was the first guy in the underbrush, girls were checking me out while I was turning my face away from all of them… No, that’s bullshit, it’s simply my fate!” he repeatedly reassured that nagging inner feeling of lost alternative opportunities. And time and again was effectively appearing out of the circus magician’s hat, and jumping over the rope, and running marathons around the circle of life with pigs, and trying not to hob-nob with the sheep. Circus, in a word.

But the fate of Aristarchus was still not so hot. Five years later, he was noticeably older and could no longer run – only to lie and wail, for the most part. Pig Mary also disappeared somewhere one Sunday evening, and since then there was no one to swim in the local mud puddles and to eat slops. Sheep Inoc broke his two horns when during another fit of rage at those infuriating him once tried to butt the cable column. Well, and the owners of the traveling circus could barely make ends meet. So one day they simply let Aristarchus go – took him out of the cage and let him out into the nearest undergrowth. Enough of moaning, they say. Better run to… all four sides! But by that time Aristarchus could no longer run – the load of his years and opening alluring forest prospects, where you had to take care of yourself, pressed so heavily on the whole essence of Aristarchus, so that his soul – if, well, rabbits have it – almost literally went into his heels, so he could barely drag his feet. And on the third day of his wanderings through the deserted forests came, in fact, that very hour X.


“You shouldn’t be sleeping on the flank, my friend. That way we may have never met!” the wolf chuckled while holding Aristarchus in his paw and looking around.

“Do your dirty thing, gray one,” bitterly croaked squeezed by mighty paws Aristarchus. “Don’t you spit in my soul or pull my ears! One cannot escape from his fate…”

“My, just look at that weak-willed philosophical specimen I’ve got today!” grinned the wolf. “Perhaps, I will even leave a foot from you as a warning for future generations. Rabbit’s foot, you know, is a symbol of good luck!” he laughed.

“Don’t you torture my ears,” Aristarchus groaned. “My soul ashes anyway.”

“And do you know why I’ve got you, oh my mentally lame friend, aye?” the wolf blinked with his two eyes that were burning with a fire of malice. “How does it go… you cannot escape your fate. You are not gonna out of this life alive, Kosoy!”

“No fate…” obediently agreed with him Aristarchus.


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