Little Arthur and the Rabbit Hole

Yeah, just like Alice, except I was called Angie growing up. Then again, my brothers decided to nickname me, Little Arthur. Why? Who knows! It did start with an A and I was pretty little (for a little sister that is), all of eight years old. I’m kinda fond of it now, but back then it made me madder than a hatter, which is exactly why they called me that.

My brother Lonnie was eighteen months older than me and my oldest brother Jay was three years older than me. Lonnie discovered the rabbit hole one day when he was (can you guess?) chasing a rabbit when it darted out of sight. It disappeared in a fluff of tail. We were all fascinated to find this gem of a passage hidden at the edge of our front yard. We stood and pondered it for a long while – trying to get brave enough to enter the land of no return. Where did it go? And what awaited us down there?

We lived on a street that dead ended, in a country community outside of Ada, Oklahoma called Pickett. This place was probably home to under a thousand people. It boasted a school and mini mart. No traffic lights at all. About five miles away was the “big” town (featured in John Grisham’s An Innocent Man – notoriously that is). Ada, home of Blake Shelton, and approximately twenty thousand other not as talented folks. I still remember from town to our house, we crossed three bridges until our street, just past the last bridge on the left.

The last crossing was over the biggest river. The tale (true or not I still don’t know, nor will I ever) entertained that this particular stretch of river was home to vicious water moccasins and a thirty foot long Alligator Gar (or was it fifty?). An Alligator Gar is both Alligator and Fish, in other words, a BIG MOUTH with lots of teeth in a long alligator jaw that swims with its big FISH TAIL. It lives in the water among the cotton mouth snakes swimming and hunting for prey – like little tasty girls. This scared the willies out of me. I stayed well away from that river and was even on edge when crossing the bridge. How the boys fished there? I’ll never know. I think they wanted to catch that Alligator Gar and become legends.

In case you haven’t figured it out….we lived very rurally. Like I said, at the end of the street, literally, our driveway was the end of the road. In front, and to the right of the road was deep woods. Virtually impassable on the right side, although we tried many times but the brush was just too thick. Forward from the driveway/road, a forest of trees, but these were more sparse, with a pathway that led to a mostly dry riverbed. You could get all through the woods via the riverbed and never get lost. There were turtles, snakes, and HUGE spiderwebs. At the time, none of that bothered me in the least. I grew up with brothers, right? I got my ewww on a few years later when my tomboy days ended.

We spent endless hours in those woods stomping all around, discovering nature, dirt, and hide and seek at it’s best. Seriously, can hide and seek get any trickier than in the woods?

But the rabbit hole was something special. More special than climbing the Oak Tree in the front yard, reaching the tippy top just as a gust of wind bent the thin branch clenched in tight fingers, threatening to blast your grasp and drop perilously to the bottom.

More special than walking the field behind the house where more snakes lived than in the woods probably because they feasted on the mice. I swore I heard rattler tails.

Even more special than the spacious back deck where you could play with your camper Barbie vehicle like they were REALLY camping, because – well – they were.

It was even more special than trekking behind the field past the blackberry bushes to the cow pond for a dip. Just don’t get in a mud fight with your brothers because you might find out later – that wasn’t MUD.

Yes, the rabbit hole was the escape and the refuge. It was a magical place to enter. The tunnel was just about the right size for me to crouch down inside. It then dropped to a canopy room that was delightful; covered and hidden. I imagined many tea parties there with a certain busy rabbit. The back portal led to our favorite part of the trail descending to the river bed. Funny I could never find that entrance from the other side, I could ONLY get there through the rabbit hole.

Growing up country was dirty, free, and enchanting. I’ll never forget my favorite hang out – the rabbit hole – with some soft hopping friends that I hope didn’t mind my intrusion.

My favorite childhood memory? The many adventures in our all natural playground. Maybe that’s why I am so carefree as an adult. Maybe that’s why I love geo caching and discovering new treasures. Maybe that rabbit hole opened our minds to endless possibilities as we courageously sought new paths. Or maybe…..growing up in the Oklahoma dirt? Wasn’t so bad after all.

Mama's Losin' It
My writing prompt: Childhood memory time – Write about something you loved to do as a child.

30 thoughts on “Little Arthur and the Rabbit Hole

  1. holly ann

    i too grew up in a very small town… your story took me back… alice in wonderland scared the beegeebies out of me, no way i would have gone down a rabbit hole…

    Like

  2. Lena Lewis

    Angelia,

    I really enjoyed the trip back via this post. My daughter had the Barbie Camper and she and her cousin enjoyed many hours playing make believe with that. I am glad you have fond memories of your childhood and it doesn’t have to end if you keep that adventurous, imaginative spirit. God bless.

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  3. What a nice post! It reminds me a bit of my own childhood and how we used to spend all summer outside in the garden. The freedom was just incredible and the border just the horizon! You were really lucky to grow up in such a wonderful environment…

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  4. Loved this post! We grew up WAY back in the country too. For a while we lived next to a soapstone quarry. There were mountains of huge soapstone and granite boulders (I’m talking in excess of 10 or 20 sq foot blocks) that had been discarded for some flaw. These created lots of holes and nooks and crannies. Lord knows now, thinking back on it, there were probably LOTS of snakes in there. But my best friend and I used to love to pretend it was “Hobbit Hollow” and we’d make up stories of Bilbo Baggins and all the other Hobbits that probably lived there. I know… we were dorky weird kids, but we loved it!

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  5. Wow, this is a wonderful showcase of your writing skill. I think you may have changed my mind about the rabbit hole. I always thought of it as something to claw your way out of – perhaps I should explore instead? This was wonderful.

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  6. Fantastic Angelia!! Your writing was brilliant. I felt like I was right there with you. Growing up as an Air Force brat we never lived in one place for long, but there was always a new place and a new adventure awaiting us. I also had the Barbie camper!

    Stories like this are why I love that we moved to where we live. My kids also got to grow up exploring the outdoors and trekking off on all kinds of adventures. They had such fun and came back exhausted, dirty and full of stories. I think the freedom and sense of adventure has made them a lot more fearless when it comes to new adventures.

    Great work Angelia.
    ♥Spot

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  7. Great story! It took me back too, I loved tramping through the woods as a girl and I’m sad that the place I did it is now a shopping development. Had a Barbie Camper too,lol!
    I also have an Award for you at my blog, Thanks for sharing such a magical memory!

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  8. Arthur! This made me think of the movie when everybody kept saying, “Arthur!” Hee! Hee! And how funny too because my nickname was Keithie. 🙂

    I always envied people who grew up in the country. There is something so real and deep and genuine about that experience to me. I suppose I gravitate toward the simple and idealistic view of things. But it seems like it was so fun running about outside.

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  9. I had the barbie camper and our camping was never as magical, but then we lived on the corner lot in a city that was in the shadow of a big city.

    What beautiful writing.

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  10. Awesomeness. I love the nickname “Little Arthur” — how cute! And I remember when I got stepbrothers at age 13, I learned the joys of stomping through creeks and woods and getting dirty and loving it.

    Wonderful writing!

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  11. blissbait

    This is wonderful. We grew up in different locations but seem to have shared the one thing I still say ‘Thank YOu!’ for and treasure dearly….

    FREEEEDOM! I was able to romp around an island. Play in the woods and the marsh, and float in the ocean and roll around on the sand for as long as pleased me. Which was hours beyond counting!

    Thanks for sharing Your wonder, and making me smile! Big Hugs and Cheers! 🙂

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  12. Beautifully written, Angelia. Thank you.
    I remember going to visit Grandmother and aunts and uncles in south Georgia. No paved roads and room for lots and lots of imagination.
    Don’t you wish your own kids could experience that kind of carefree life. I often wish that for my own.
    I love walks down memory lane.
    Have a restful and beautiful weekend.

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  13. natural and beautiful!
    amazing gift in this writing, loved the fun.
    I grew up in country side and enjoy the nature very much.
    I see ox, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, fich around all the time…

    🙂

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  14. I loved this story, brought back a lot of memories. The time I found a rabbit hole or maybe it was a nest. It had baby rabbits in it. Little hairless and blind baby rabbits. I was in awe of nature from that moment on.

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  15. Great story, loved it. Came here from Gary’s blog and the award, going to link wp doesn’t have follow.

    My blog has similar stories about life and growing up, not as eloquently written, but you may like.

    AV

    Like

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