Summer of 1960 When I Was 7....chapter 8.... the girl named Chocolit Biscuit
The bunnies grew fast and I could usually be found in the back yard with them. “Ya wanna hold one?” I hollered at Carolyn as I bounded out of the house a few days later. I raced over to the cage and gently lifted out a pink and white tiny little bunny. I thought that this one really liked me because it came to me and licked my hand, when the others seemed to run and hide. Carolyn was sitting in her rusty wagon in her back yard. She shook her head softly, her black hair was braided and her barrettes rattled against each other. I sat by the fence and she climbed out of the wagon to join me behind the big leaves of the elephant ear plant that were as big as we were.
“Naw, I cain’t,” she replied as she stuck her whole arm through the rusty, wire fence to pet it.
“Sure ya kin,” I pushed the bunny through the fence into her arms. She held it in the front of her skirt keeping her hands free to pet and stroke the soft fur.
“Hold it tight so she won’t scratch you…..here like this.” I folded the bunny’s legs into Carolyn’s hands.
“I’ll jus’ go get me another one.” I ran to the cage and opened the top to reach in for another bunny. “Maybe your Momma will let you have one. I know my Momma won’t care.” The little rabbit’s pink nose twitched in greeting. I sat down by the fence and felt the soft fur tickle my bare legs. The little bunny started crawling up my chest onto my shoulder burying itself into my long curly hair which made me giggle.
Carolyn held the little white bunny in her lap, her legs dark against the white of the rabbit fur.
“Why is your skin as brown as chocolate?” I asked.
“I dunno,” she whispered.
“My skin is browner where I get sun,” I said as I lifted the edge of my shorts and showed the white skin of my upper thigh.
“Where‘s your school?” I asked.
“Down yonder,” she pointed down the road.
“You like it?” I asked, and then she shrugged in answer. “I don’t like mine,” I stated.
Sitting there with Carolyn, describing my school, sharing our lives, I was developing a friendship based on an innocent trust. We did not talk of our differences, but of our sameness. The same talk, thoughts, and feelings of any two little girls anywhere in the world.
“I think I’ll call mine Marshmallow Puff,” Carolyn said.
“We’re not supposed to name them. Momma said we’ve got to sell them to make some money and we cain’t keep em,” I looked down at the bunny in my lap that I had secretly named Pinky. “But I’m sure Momma will let you have one.”
“Naw, ya better not even ask,” she mumbled. I took Marshmallow and Pinky back to their cage, wiped my hands on my shorts and went around the end of the fence by the road. As I entered her yard, I grabbed the wagon handle. “Come on, Choclit Biscuit, and I’ll pull you.” She laughed at her new name and climbed in the wagon. I pulled her up the road toward the black part of town then turned around and pulled her toward the white part. Back and forth, back and forth, we laughed and played, in an inbetween-ness that we had made together.