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HarrietOctober 7, 2005

I was in the store yesterday, a little veggie market not far from my house. It gets pretty crowded after work, and I felt scowly and headachey as I stood in line.

The sound-system was playing "Under the Boardwalk." A deep baritone joined in for a few lines. I didn't turn around.

"Come on! Sing with me!"

A short man in a purple suit was holding a huge bunch of greens to his chest, three customers back.

"Let's make the cashiers happy! Let's make them give the food away!" A checker grinned and shook her head.

"Look at these! Have you ever seen such pretty greens?" He shook them with a vegetable rattle. A woman asked him how he was going to cook them.

He spoke to the store at large. "I cook, sure. I cook all the time. I'm a great cook. But no, these aren't for me. They're for the rabbits." He heaved a dramatic sigh. "Those rabbits eat better than I ever do. Avocados. Raisins. Peanut butter, but only the fancy fresh kind. These greens. They eat more than me, too." He had such a big smile that just looking at him made me feel less scowly.

"Are they angora?" I asked. I had to know. I had visions of him spinning the fluff while they ate avocado on his lap.

He beamed at me. "No, lop-eared. Big lops. Great big lops. I get home from work, and sometimes I'll sit on the couch. Maybe I'll fall asleep. The white one, she'll hop up and pull on my pants until I wake up. She wants her food."

"But Harriet," he paused for effect, looking at his audience -- we were all rapt by now, "Harriet, she dances. Right in time to the music. She gives a little hop, like this. And then another to the left, see? Hop, hop, hop. Dancing! She dances for me when I'm tired. Who could be sad when Harriet dances like that?"

As I picked up my bags to leave, I told him it was the best thing I'd heard all day. He said that God would bless me. I walked out, thinking maybe he had.

*Lala's Harriet dances too, with a waggy spinning tail. Must be in the name.

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Comments

Fabulous. Through you, he's made our day, too. Thanks.

I sure hope his Harriet and my Harriet don't ever end up in the same room together or else we could have a Swirling Vortex of Dancing Harriet Cuteness from which nothing, not even bees (the least cute thing of all), could escape. That would be terrible.

I thought you were talking about another Harriet!
Silly me!

Cute story. It's amazing the things that can perk up a day. Thank God for goofy strangers. There really just aren't enough of those here in France. People tend to keep to themselves in public.

I'm singing "Under the Boardwalk" now. Great story.

Hmm. I think if this had happened in New York, it would not have happened the same way. Harriet would've turned out to be a giant alligator or something.

[Score one for the West Coast] mwah!

Very cute. Glad he brightened your day. Glad, too, that you brightened ours by sharing the cuteness.

You have a true gift for storytelling...I felt like I was there too. Thanks!

Hahaha! Hilarious! Thank you for this hearty laugh! And by the way, I've been meaning to ask you: How do you add that little logotype icon in the URL navigation bar? I'd love to put my logo there on my page!

Wonderful! go read Radmila's rastaman story on My2SecondShelfLife and you'll double up on the smile...
(exit, stage left humming Under the Boardwalk...)

What a great story! Makes me smile on this crappy day at work.
Thanks!

Great story. Let's hear it for men in purple suits who take good care of lop eared bunnies and take the time to make strangers smile and feel blessed! We need more of them.

What a sweet story...made my day! :-)

Awww... I had a very talented Aunt Harriet; she was quite a gifted pianist and singer. Sadly, she succumed to breast cancer a few years ago, but your story cheered me, as I am now imagining she's up there, helping that bunny feel more inspired, when she's not tickling the heavenly ivories. Thanks, Rach!

Rachael, you make me love life, too.

This story makes me want to take the line, "Who could be sad when Harriet dances like that?" and embroider it on a pillow or something. Except that would be a lot of stitching. But it would be a great reminder of this happy story!

Aw! Great story! What a terrific soul to meet...

I just started Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys - barely into it, but the main character's father is a lot like your guy. The son is in a permanent state of embarassment. It's hysterical. :)

ah, leprechauns in the produce aisle. bliss!

That story just made my WEEK! Thanks so much for sharing it :)

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at [email protected] to make arrangements.

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