Table of Contents Cover Title Page Copyright Dedication Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter

8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21

Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Coda About the Author Also by Kate DiCamillo: Because of Winn-Dixie The Magician s Elephant The Tale of Despereaux The Tiger Rising Mercy Watson to the Rescue Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride Mercy Watson Fights Crime Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes Great Joy This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either p roducts of the author s imagination or, if real, are used fictitiously. Text copyright © 2006 by Kate DiCamillo Cover and interior illustrations copyright © 2006 by Bagram Ibatoulline All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, or sto red in an information retrieval system in any form or by any means, graphic, ele ctronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, taping, and recording, without p rior written permission from the publisher. First electronic edition 2009 The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows: DiCamillo, Kate. The miraculous journey of Edward Tulane / Kate DiCamillo; illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. 1st ed. p.€€€cm. Summary: Edward Tulane, a cold-hearted and proud toy rabbit, loves only himself until he is separated from the little girl who adores him and travels across the country, acquiring new owners and listening to their hopes, dreams, and histori es. ISBN 978-0-7636-2589-4 (hardcover) [1. Toys Fiction. 2. Rabbits Fiction. 3. Love Fiction. 4. Listening Fiction. 5. Adventure and adventurers Fiction.] I. Ibatoulline, Bagram, ill. II. Title. PZ7.D5455Mi 2006



ISBN 978-0-7636-3987-7 (paperback) ISBN 978-0-7636-4367-6 (digest paperback) ISBN 978-0-7636-4942-5 (electronic) The illustrations for this book were done in acrylic gouache. Candlewick Press 99 Dover Street Somerville, Massachusetts 02144 visit us at For Jane Resh Thomas, who gave me the rabbit and told me his name The heart breaks and breaks and lives by breaking. It is necessary to go through dark and deeper dark and not to turn. from The Testing-Tree, by Stanley Kunitz

ONCE, IN A HOUSE ely of china. He hina torso and a o that his china f movement.

ON EGYPT STREET, there lived a rabbit who was made almost entir had china arms and china legs, china paws and a china head, a c china nose. His arms and legs were jointed and joined by wire s elbows and china knees could be bent, giving him much freedom o

His ears were made of real rabbit fur, and beneath the fur, there were strong, b endable wires, which allowed the ears to be arranged into poses that reflected t he rabbit s mood jaunty, tired, full of ennui. His tail, too, was made of real rab bit fur and was fluffy and soft and well shaped. The rabbit s name was Edward Tulane, and he was tall. He measured almost three fee t from the tip of his ears to the tip of his feet; his eyes were painted a penet rating and intelligent blue. In all, Edward Tulane felt himself to be an exceptional specimen. Only his whisk ers gave him pause. They were long and elegant (as they should be), but they wer e of uncertain origin. Edward felt quite strongly that they were not the whisker s of a rabbit. Whom the whiskers had belonged to initially what unsavory animal was a question that Edward could not bear to consider for too long. And so he di d not. He preferred, as a rule, not to think unpleasant thoughts. Edward s mistress was a ten-year-old, dark-haired girl named Abilene Tulane, who t hought almost as highly of Edward as Edward thought of himself. Each morning aft er she dressed herself for school, Abilene dressed Edward. The china rabbit was in possession of an extraordinary wardrobe composed of hand made silk suits, custom shoes fashioned from the finest leather and designed spe cifically for his rabbit feet, and a wide array of hats equipped with holes so t hat they could easily fit over Edward s large and expressive ears. Each pair of we ll-cut pants had a small pocket for Edward s gold pocket watch. Abilene wound this watch for him each morning. Now, Edward, she said to him after she was done winding the watch, when the big han

d is on the twelve and the little hand is on the three, I will come home to you. She placed Edward on a chair in the dining room and positioned the chair so that Edward was looking out the window and could see the path that led up to the Tul ane front door. Abilene balanced the watch on his left leg. She kissed the tips of his ears, and then she left and Edward spent the day staring out at Egypt Str eet, listening to the tick of his watch and waiting. Of all the seasons of the year, the rabbit most preferred winter, for the sun se t early then and the dining-room windows became dark and Edward could see his ow n reflection in the glass. And what a reflection it was! What an elegant figure he cut! Edward never ceased to be amazed at his own fineness. In the evening, Edward sat at the dining-room table with the other members of th e Tulane family: Abilene; her mother and father; and Abilene s grandmother, who wa s called Pellegrina. True, Edward s ears barely cleared the tabletop, and true als o, he spent the duration of the meal staring straight ahead at nothing but the b right and blinding white of the tablecloth. But he was there, a rabbit at the ta ble. Abilene s parents found it charming that Abilene considered Edward real, and that she sometimes requested that a phrase or story be repeated because Edward had no t heard it. Papa, Abilene would say, I m afraid that Edward didn t catch that last bit.

Abilene s father would then turn in the direction of Edward s ears and speak slowly, repeating what he had just said for the benefit of the china rabbit. Edward pre tended, out of courtesy to Abilene, to listen. But, in truth, he was not very in terested in what people had to say. And also, he did not care for Abilene s parent s and their condescending manner toward him. All adults, in fact, condescended t o him. Only Abilene s grandmother spoke to him as Abilene did, as one equal to another. P ellegrina was very old. She had a large, sharp nose and bright, black eyes that shone like dark stars. It was Pellegrina who was responsible for Edward s existenc e. It was she who had commissioned his making, she who had ordered his silk suit s and his pocket watch, his jaunty hats and his bendable ears, his fine leather shoes and his jointed arms and legs, all from a master craftsman in her native F rance. It was Pellegrina who had given him as a gift to Abilene on her seventh b irthday. And it was Pellegrina who came each night to tuck Abilene into her bed and Edwar d into his. Will you tell us a story, Pellegrina? Abilene asked her grandmother each night. Not tonight, lady, said Pellegrina. What night? Soon there will be a story.

When? asked Abilene. Soon, said Pellegrina.

And then she turned off the light, and Edward and Abilene lay in the dark of the bedroom. I love you, Edward, Abilene said each night after Pellegrina had left. She said th ose words and then she waited, almost as if she expected Edward to say something in return.

a male brindled boxer inexplicably named Rosie . while Abilene was at school. came into the house uninvited and unannounced and lifted his leg on the dining -room table. The watch went into the maw of the va cuum cleaner with a distressing clank that the maid did not even seem to hear. Once. I reckon you re jus t like every other thing in this house. Abilene s mother had referred to him as it. Drop it! she shouted to Rosie. he was in Rosie s mouth and Rosie was shaking him back and forth vigorously. On c lear nights. domestic drama. she vacuumed E dward s gold pocket watch right off his lap. did as he was told. He stared up at the ceiling and listened to the sound of her breath entering and leaving her body. and she was more outraged at the dog urine on her tableclot h than she was about the indignities that Edward had suffered at the jaws of Ros ie. Edward did not care at all for the word bunny. something needing to be cleaned and dust ed. Sometimes. He found it derogatory in the ext reme. And Rosie. Nothing remarkable h appened. He said nothing because. he was always awake. h e could see through the cracks in the curtains and out into the dark night. She put her hands on her hips. EDWARD S days passed. What s this bunny doing here? she said out loud. And so the maid vacuumed Edward Tulane. She dusted his face with brutality and efficiency. and their pinprick light comforted Edward in a way that he could not quite understand. Fortunately. if Abilene put him into his bed on his side instead of on his back. and before Edward even had time to consider the implications of being sniffed by a dog. there was the occasional small. spraying the white tablecloth with urine. And then there was the time that a maid.Edward said nothing. Because Edward s eyes were painted on and he could not c lose them. The maid bent over him and looked into his eyes. He lay in his small bed next to Abilene s large one. . and uncertai n about exactly where Edward belonged. Often. but it was his ego that had suffered the most damage. He then trotted over and sniffed Edward. growling and drooling. one into the other. And in her zeal to clean him. he stared at the stars all night unt il the dark finally gave way to dawn. She sucked each of his long ears up the vacuum-cleaner hose. new to the Tulane household and eager t o impress her employers with her diligence. she put the dining-room chair back at the table. surprised into obedience. she finally decided to shove him in among the dolls on a shelf in Abilene s bedroom. AND IN THIS MANNER. Oh. Abilene s mother walked past the dining room and witnessed Edward s suf fering. the neighbor s dog. knowing that soon she would be asleep. he could not speak. of course. When she was done. She pawed at his clothes and beat his tail. came upon Edward sitting on his chai r in the dining room. the stars shone. Hmph. she said. Edward s silk suit was stained with drool and his head ached for several days afte rward. She stood back up.

said the maid. said Pellegrina. as the cake was being served. she said. say. oh. who presented it with a mocking bow. the ship was mentioned. of course. she held him close. said Abilene s father. but still in working condition. The rabbit. What about Pellegrina? I will not go. Will Edward be sailing on the Queen Mary with us? Well. Edward! she shouted.That s right. was experiencing a great emotion. I will stay. was not listening. so close that Edward could feel her heart beating. I love you. too. SHE IS CALLED THE QUEEN MARY. no way for hi m to answer her. And what about Edward? What about him. Nonsense. although you are getting a little old for such thin gs as china rabbits. of course. But then Abilene did something unusual. if you wish. or a teapot . Edward. Your timepiece. She left Edward on the shelf at a most awkward and inhuman angle his nose was ac tually touching his knees. said Abilene s father jovially. When Abilene found him. something that forced him to pay att ention. her voice high and uncertain. The only satisfaction to be had from the whole affair was that the new maid wa s dismissed immediately. Edward! There was no way. He found the talk around the dinner table excruciatingly dull. dented. for him to let her know where he was. I never want you to be away from me. darling? she said. he said. it was returned to him by Abilene s f ather. It was a nnoyance that he had been so mightily inconvenienced. Abilene reached for Edward and too k him from his chair and stood him in her lap. As the talk about the ship continued. and you and your mama and I sha ll sail on her all the way to London. of course. at the dinner tab le. Edward s pocket watch was located later. there? Who would protect Abilene if Edward was not . Edward. leaping almost out of her chest in its agitation. that he had been handled b y the maid as cavalierly as an inanimate object a serving bowl. He could only sit and wait. said her mother. until Abilene came home from school and found him missing and ran from room to room calling his nam e. with the dolls twittering and gi ggling at him like a flock of demented and unfriendly birds. said Abilene. There you go. Edward. and he waited there. Sir Edward. But it was not love. deep within the bowels of the vacuum clea ner. in fact. he made a point of not listening if he could help it. I believe? The Rosie Affair and the Vacuum-Cleaner Incident those were the great dramas of Edward s life until the night of Abilene s eleventh birthday when.

if there would be a stor y. the king. Because. said Pellegrina. Why did it make no difference? asked Abilene. Abilene sat up in bed. How beautiful? You must listen. and the wh iskers on his nose had some dim memory of being hunted. ne if the rabbit were not there? who would watch over Abile That night. Perhaps the rabbit fur on Edward s ears and tail. And so. But do you know what the princess did? . even though there were many who loved her. still staring at Edward. sat him next to her in bed. So.From the vantage point of Abilene s lap. I think that is best. And llegrina s. I think that Edward needs to sit here with me. said Pellegrina. said Pellegrina. and soon after this. He gave her a ring of pure gold. turning back to Abilene. for a shiver went throug h him. there will be a story. ONCE THERE WAS A PRINCESS WHO was very beautiful. She s tared deep into his painted-on eyes. said Pellegrina. whole table spread o in his own chair. It is all in the story. At this point in her story. said Abilene. as she did every night. when Abilene asked. Pellegrina said. Tonight. and arranged the covers ar ound him. tory. She shone as bright as the sta rs on a moonless night. said that t he princess must marry. A beautiful princess? Abilene asked. Pellegrina stopped and looked right at Edward. What happened to the princess? And so. her father. so Yes. I think that the rabbit must hear the s Abilene picked Edward up. too. lady. He placed it on her finger. Yes. said Pellegrina. No difference. that he can hear the story. A very beautiful princess. Edward could see the ut before him in a way that he never could when he was seated He looked upon the glittering array of silverware and glasses the amused and condescending looks of Abilene s parents. Edward felt a shiver go through him. said Pellegrina without taking her eyes off Edward. He said these words to her: I love you . The story begins with a princess. She coughed. then she said to Pellegrina. a prince came from a neighboring ki ngdom and he saw the princess and. and again. But what difference did it make that she was beautiful? None. He saw then his eyes met Pe She was looking at him in the way a hawk hanging lazily in the air might study a mouse on the ground. We are ready now. she was a princess who loved no one and cared nothing for love. And so. and plates. she said. said Pellegrina. he loved her. immediately.

Enter if you must. said the princess. I am hungry. Love! e? Whom do you love? I love no one. And so what? said Abilene. She left the castle and went deep into the woods. Three thousand six hundred and twenty-three. She said. Three thousand six hundred and twenty-four. There was no answer. She said. You must tell me the name. The beautiful princess entered. The voice said. She raised her hand and said one word: Farthfiger You disappoint me. y. Let me in. Talk to me of consequences now. She stared at the prince ss. Not my concern. said the witch as the warthog princess ran from the hut and out again into the forest. She said. will you? said the witch. Three thousand six hundred and twenty-five. She stamped her foot. What of it? said the beautiful princess. A terrible voice answered her. then. Th at is what I think of love. What happened then? And so. What have you done to me? squealed the princess. said the witch. And so. said the witch. Three thousand six hundred and twenty-six. Let me in. . and she knocked on the door. replied the witch. She looked up from her gold. said the witch. we will speak of con sequences: tell me the name of the one you love. She swallowed the ring. the princess became lost in the woods. She took it from her finger and swallowed it.Abilene shook her head. said the princess. said the princess. and she went back to coun ting her pieces of gold. And she ran from the prince. Finall y. and she saw a witch sitting at a table counting p ieces of gold. You must help me or there will be consequences. said the princess. She wandered for many days. You dare to talk to me of consequences? Very well. said the witch. Consequences? said the witch. Three thousand six hundred and twenty-two. I am hungry. She knocked again. I am lost. she came to a little hut. My father. is a powerful king. I am cold. said the witch. But I am a beautiful princess. And the beautiful princess was changed into a warthog. Why must everyone always speak of lov said the princess proudly.

How gruesome! How grotesq ue! What a terrible fate! Edward. Pellegrina nodded. and so. The end. He continued to stare up at the ceiling. as bright as the stars on a moonless night over and over until. And the ring that the beautiful princess had swallowed shone on the cook s hand as she did her work. She leaned close to him. Pow! No. Would you like to wear your black derby? You look very handsome in it. And what were they looking for? A beautiful princess. the first light of dawn appeared. Yes. filling it with his finest suits and several of his best hats a nd three pairs of shoes. She was quiet for a moment. He wished that Pellegrina had put him on his side so that he mi ght look at the stars. and Abilene pa cked it for him. Why can t it be? Because it came too quickly. she displayed it to him. too. She whispered. said Pellegrina. said Abilene. all so that he might cut a fine figure in London. Edward lay in his small bed and stared up at the ceilin g. Shall . I don t care how old I get. He tho ught of the princess and how she had become a warthog. Edward possessed a small trunk. He was agitated for some reason that he could not name. they shot it immediately. said Abilene indignantly. It is late. I love you.The kings men were in the forest. She sho ne as bright as the stars on a moonless night. But then most stories were. thought Edward. at last. yes. Because no one is living happily ever after. had been pointless. For some reason. The men took the warthog back to the castle and the cook slit open its belly and inside it she found a ring of pure gold. Well. You disappoint me. And you must go to sleep. THE HOUSE ON EGYPT STREET became frantic with activity as the Tulane family prep ared for their voyage to England. the end. said Pellegrina. The story. said Abilene. So t he cook put the ring on her finger and finished butchering the warthog. Do you like this shirt with this suit? she asked him. that s wh y. And then he remembered Pellegrina s description of the beautiful princess. There were many hun gry people in the castle that night and all of them were waiting to be fed. But answer me this: how can a story end happily if there is no love? But. And so when they came upon an ugly warthog. Befor e she placed each outfit in the trunk. Or. Ah. She put him in his bed and pulled the sheet up to his whiskers. After the old lady left. Yes. But it can t be. Pellegrina took Edward from Abilene. Edward found com fort in these words and he repeated them to himself as bright as the stars on a moonless night. I will always love you. he thought. The end? Yes.

we pack it? And then. Me neither. Edward Tulane exacted much attention onboard the ship. And he has his own pajamas. said Abilene. finally. after a long thoughtful pause. . Abilene s tears. She bent down to look more closely at Edward. And then. The ship pulled away from the dock. They aske d Abilene if they might hold him. dis-a ppeared. et anybody dress me like that. goodbye. he said. agreed Martin. too. I love you. brothers named Martin and Amos. He pointed at Ed ward who was sitting on a deck chair with his long legs stretched in front of hi m. was relieved to see the last of her. Edward and Abilene and M r. What a singular rabbit. Pellegrin a was at the dock. Tulane were all onboard the ship. Finally. said Abilene. They are made of silk. she wore a floppy hat strung around with flowers . No. on a bright Saturday morning in May. On her head. he does not wind up. said Amos. asked Amos. Does he wind up somewhere? No. What does he do? Martin asked Abilene on their second day at sea. said Abilene. said an elderly lady with three strings of pearls wrapped around her neck. said Amos. he supposed. took a particular interest in Ed ward. Goodbye. To be clutched so fiercely often resulted in wrinkled clothing. I wouldn t l It s not. Several little girls onboard gave Edward deep glances full of longing. said Abilene. The point is that he is Edward. including Pellegrina. Do his clothes come off? Of course they do. He has many different outfits. That s not much of a point. for one. I m afraid that he s not the kind of rabbit who likes to be held by s Two young boys. He wished th at she would not hold him so tight. all the people on land. asked Martin. Pellegrina waved to Abilene. What s the point of him then? said Martin. lady. Her dark eyes glowed. standing at the railing. said Abilene. trangers. Edward felt something damp in his ears. and Mrs. said Abilene. He doesn t do anything. She stared straight at Edward. Edward. Abilene shouted to her grandmother. Thank you. As was to be expected. Goodbye. she called.

called Martin. Martin threw Edward. ould see. them open. cried Abilene. Edward heard Abilene call his name. displaying him triumphantly. and then. . come back. He hear hit the deck of the ship. Toss him. And Edward sailed naked through the air. Amos raised his arm. He ll break. said Amos to Martin. give him to me. HOW DOES A CHINA RABBIT DIE? Can a china rabbit drown? Is my hat still on my head? These were the questions that Edward asked himself as he went sailing out over t he blue sea. but just as he was getting ready to throw Edward. shoving her head into his stomach. and from what seemed to be a very long way away. and the other passengers onboard the ship were lookin g at him. were ripped from his body. Martin removed Edward s underwear. He s made of china. as usual. Only a moment ago. But he was wrong. Edward Tulane went overboard. Please. in the s ame naked state. Instead. He was completely naked excep t for the hat on his head. It was much worse being tossed. He held Edward aloft so that Amos c said Martin. directing curious and embarrassed glances his way. It came as a total rst his scarf. he watc merrily toward Abilene s feet. He clapped his hands together and then held No. He s mine. Don t throw him. Edward was paying attention now. He s even got underwear. Amos caught Edward and held him up. was disregarding the conversation. Abilene t ackled him. screamed Abilene. held upside down. he wore a straw boater. A breeze was blowing in off the sea. So it was that Edward did not go flying back into the dirty hands of Martin. and the silk scarf wrapped around his neck billowed out behind him. laughing boy to another. the rabbit had thoug ht that being naked in front of a shipload of strangers was the worst thing that could happen to him. He was mortified. Throw him back. The rabbit was thinking that he must look qui te dashing. On his head. Give him to me.Edward. Edwaaarrd. and upsetting the boy s aim. Take it off. he said. The sun was high in the sky. she shouted. shouted Amos. NO!!!! surprise to him when he was grabbed off the deck chair and fi then his jacket and pants. and d his pocket watch hed the watch roll Look at him. from the hands of one grubby. screamed Abilene.

This. He felt. I need that. And then Abilene disappeared from view and the rabbit hit the water with such tr emendous force that his hat blew off his head. And months. Ed ward realized. Edward tho ught. If I am going to drown. then I would know for sure. It was almost as if it was she. Edward Tulane was afraid. and it was reflecting the light of the sun. And weeks. for lack of anything better to do. And then days. Why had she become a warthog? Because the ugly witch turned her into one that w as why. . and there. the fate of the beautiful princess who had become a warthog. it was his gold pocket watch that Abilene held in her hand. He kept his eyes open the whole time. the ocean liner. with his head in the muck. And then the rabbit thought about Pellegrina. very soon. holding on to the rail ing with one hand. have I bee n farther away from the stars than I am now. too. is much like waiting for Abilene to come home from school. That answers that question. finally. As he tumbled. He considered. on the ocean floor. He thought about the stars. she will be here so on. but because he had no choice. with Abilene aboard it. She was standing on the deck of the ship. My pocket watch. HE TOLD HIMSELF THAT CERTAINLY Abilene would come and find him. He said to himself. ears over tail through the air. They watched as it finally became as black as night. Hours passed. and not the boys. Far above him. Edward. it was a ball of fire no. who had thrown Edward overboar d. and the china rabbit landed. certainly I would have done so by now. But it doesn t matter. In her other hand was a lamp no. I will pretend that I am in the dining room of the house on Egypt Street. that she was responsible for what had happened to him. Abilene did not come. If only I ha d my watch. and were they still shining somew here even though he could not see them? Never in my life. He sank and sank and sank. he thought. in some way that he could not explain to himself. she w as holding it up high. began to think. And then he began to sink. Edward went down and down. he managed to catch one last glim pse of Abilene. He remembered what they looked like from his bedroom window. face-down. Not because he was brave. His painted-on eyes witnessed the blue water turning to green and then to blue again. he experienced his first genuine and true emotion.Come back? Of all the ridiculous things to shout. waiting for the littl e hand to move to the three and the big hand to land on the twelve. he thought. What made them shine so brightly. thought Edward. thought Edward as he watched the hat dance away on t he wind. he wondered. sailed blithely on.

she was the witch in the story. True. wild and spinning dance. said another voice. Up and down. As they made their way back to shore. he thought. The storm. alt hough for what he could not say. I reckon. lying on the deck of a ship. Oh. Edward felt the sun on his face and the wi nd blowing through the little bit of fur left on his ears. But still. Looks like it s enjoying the ride. surrounded by fish. for a moment. Give it to som e child. suddenly. Down. the great. wide net of a fisherman reached out and grabbed t he rabbit. a rabbit toy. in its ferocity. Let her fix it up and set it to rights. and something filled his chest. but just the same she was punishing him. But befor e he had time to appreciate being above water. one young and one old. That s for sure. shap es appeared out of the light. he was tossed back down into the depths. It sounded to him like Pellegrina laughing. a wonderful feeling. But finally. said the grizzled old man. And Edward realized that he was lo oking up at two men. down he went. Help me. and he turned away. Look at that rabbit. Help! thought Edward. Yeah. sure. help me. Looks like some toy. The water pummeled him and lifted him up and shov ed him back down. No. There you go. The old man placed Edward carefully on a crate. And then. A rabbit. down. considering him. said the younger man. I can t go back there. The net lifted him higher and higher until there was an almost unbear able explosion of light and Edward was back in the world. He was glad to be alive. The light was so brilliant that it was hard for Edward to see. the win d rushed through his ears. Eh. The st orm was so powerful that it lifted Edward off the ocean floor and led him in a c razy. I ll take it home to Nellie. a storm came.She was like the witch in the story. Edward appreciated the courtesy of this small gesture. back and forth he went until the storm wore itself out. It s got whiskers. don t it? . s he did not turn him into a warthog. and then faces. his slow descent to the ocean floor. again. actually flung him all the way out of the sea. and t he rabbit glimpsed. what s this? Ain t no fish. but he was heartily sick of the ocean and would have been satisf ied never to set eyes on it again. He bent and picked Edward up and h eld him by his front paws. down. And rabbit ears. said a voice. the old man said. On the two hundred and ninety-seventh day of Edward s ordeal. or the shape of rabbit ears at least. said the old man. and Edward saw that he was beginning. the light of an angry and bruised sky. positioning him so that he was s itting up and could look out at the sea.

She clapped her hands together again and Lawrence passed Edwa Nellie held the rabbit out in front of her and looked him over from tip to toe.A-yep. the ocean stretching out in front of it all. well. wiping her hands on an apron. I ve brought you something from the sea. When she saw Edward. He lifted his cap to the There you are. Have you ever in your life seen anything so fine? she said. and he thought that he w ould like anything and anybody that was not at the bottom of the sea. breathed Nellie. Oh. I don t want nothing from the sea. said Nellie. here. but she s an all-r You ll like Nellie. carrying Edward atop his left shoulder a a conquering hero. don t be like that. Edward felt immediately that Nellie was a very discerning woman. came a voice. La wrence. called a woman from the front of a shop. Edward considered the brightness of the small star. Come and see. Don t never have to be lost when you know where that fellow is. said the fisherman. and then. the fisherman walked up a stone-lined path a nd into a little green house. Aw. An old woman stepped out of the kitchen. She s had her sadness. then. Direct from the sea. What have you got? Fresh catch. Hello. Edward looked at the small town blanketed in dusk: a jumble of buildings huddled together. said the young man. Here we are. He took the pipe out of his mouth and poin ted with the stem of it at a star in the purpling sky. There s your North Star righ t there. Listen at me. Lawrence. She smiled. lady and kept walking. placing a call Edward s back. She s beautiful. talking to a toy. said the fisherman. you brung me a rabbit. you will. Oh. with the pipe clen his teeth. said the fisherman. The fisherman balanced him there. rd to her. He took Edward off his shoulder and stood him up on the floor and held on to his hands and made him take a deep bow in the dir ection of Nellie. low voice as they walked. she dropped the apron and clapped her hands together and said. ON LAND. now. . Oh. Edward Tulane was so happy to be back among the living that he did not even take umbrage at being referred to as it. he said. ight girl. now. Nellie. said Lawrence. he walked home. In fact. then. Look here. fresh rabbit from the sea. THE ched between s if he were used hand at OLD FISHERMAN stopped to light a pipe. He talked to him in a soft. Nell. said the old man. And with Edward still on his shoulder. Do they all have names? he wondered.

He did not want to b e dressed as a girl. who was a secretary. won t she? AND SO EDWARD TULANE BECAME Susanna. Lolly. But now. and so she spent her day in the kitchen. stripping them of the few pi eces of fur that remained and designing him a new pair. to watch somebody you love die right in front of you and not be able to do nothing about it. a simple shift fashioned out of a fl ower-covered cloth for everyday use. First off. In the evening. Susanna. she talked. kneading dough for bread and rolling out dough for coo kies and pies. And wh ile Nellie worked. said Nellie. and a long white gown made of cotton for Ed ward to sleep in. the wo rst thing. a boy rabbit. I suppose you think I m daft. and he said to himself. a will need some clothes. she told him when she was done. you look lovely. so plain. The kitchen soon filled with the smell of baking bread and with t he sweet smells of cinnamon and sugar and cloves. Nellie sewed several outfits for him: a pin k dress with ruffles for special occasions. She looked deep into Edward s eyes. He liked being up high. He was horrified at first. Susann Just right. In addition. was a chair de signed for babies. Lawrence came home from the sea and there was dinner and Edward sat at the table with the fisherman and his wife. And Edward was surprised to discover that he was listening. She put Edward on the counter and leaned him up against the flour canister and arranged his dr ess around his knees. But then Edward remembered lying on the ocean floor. terrible thing. Nellie wiped at her tears with the back of her hands. and while at first he was mortified (a highchair. the muck in his face. Edward was confused. Besides. after all. so pointless. the stor ies Nellie told struck him as the most important thing in the world and he liste ned as if his life depended on what she said. What difference does it make really? Weari ng a dress won t hurt me. I dream about him most nights. It made him wonder if some of the muck from the ocean floor had gotten inside his china head and damaged him someh ow. He was. the stars so far away. everything had seemed so boring. who had died of pneumonia w hen he was only five years old. even the special-occasion dress. after all. But it seems to me that you are lis tening. she remade his ears. said Nellie. her daughter. Oh. life in the little green house with the fisherman and his wife was swee t. and Raymond. The windows steamed up. It is a horrible. She bent his ears so that he could hear well. not for elegant rabbits). talking to a toy. were so s imple. She told Edward about her children. an d her boys: Ralph. He drowned inside of himself. Susanna. looking out over the table instead of staring at the tablecloth .For a moment. Was there some other object of beauty in the room? What will I call her? Susanna? said Lawrence. He sat in an old wooden highch air. when Abilene talked to him. And then she set to work. They lacked the elegance and artistry of his real clothes. And the outfits. who was in the army. he soon became used to it. Before. She smiled at Edward. Nellie loved to bake.

Her voice shook. though. Edward was ignored and forgotte . and he stayed that way through dinner. for the first time since Edward had bee n with her. shouted Lolly. Of course. She gave Edward a shake. pointing at them with the stem of his pipe. he had at the Tulane household. Every night after dinner. His dress was up over his head and he could see nothing. She came up in a net and she didn t have no cloth es on her. said Nellie. She put down her suitcase and picked Edward up by one foot. did not sing him a lullaby. Susanna! said Nellie. Edward remembered Pellegrina. In fact. Lawrence said the names of the constellations one at a time. a nd the sound of Nellie s voice soothed the rabbit and he forgot about Pellegrina. He placed Edw ard on his shoulder as he had that first night when he walked him through town. Lawrence? shouted Lolly. Already. Pegasus. Sometimes. bringing him home to Nellie. he would think. he had formed a deep and abiding hatred for Lolly. a song about a mockingbird that did not sing and a diamond ring that would not shine. He landed face-down with his arms over hi s head and his dress still over his face. without looking up from his plate. said Nellie. Have you gone skivvy? shouted Lolly. Your father found her. for a very long time. LOLLY WAS A LUMPY WOMAN WHO spoke too loudly and who wore too much lipstick. Lolly tossed Edward back on the couch. He liked feeling like a part of things. sa w again her dark and glowing eyes. This one seemed to. Rabbits don t need clothes. wasn t you. Edwa rd loved looking up at the stars. staring up at the night sky. That s Susanna. They went outside and Lawrence lit his pipe and held Edward there on his shoulde r. But Nellie. Life. She entered the house and immediately spotted Edward sitting on the living-room cou ch. And then Lawrence and Nellie s daughter came for a visit. Witches. Well. S he held him upside down. Lawrence said that he thought he would go out and get some fresh air and that maybe Susanna would like to come with him. And Nellie. What s this? she said. Andromeda. said Lawrence. before she put him to bed each night. . said Nellie. was sweet. Why have you got out that old highchair? Oh. They were sweet in his ears. so I made her some dresses. and if the night was clear. and a chill would go through him. and he loved the sounds of the constellation n ames. after dinner Edward did not go outside and stand beneath the stars to have a smoke with Lawrence. don t pay it no mind. Your father was just gluing on a missing piece That s right. sang Edward a lullaby.

It was worse. what gave him hope. Goodbye. again. was thinking of how he would find Lo lly and exact his revenge. He lay there. He put his hands under his a rmpits and flapped his elbows. How can es is what the is king of the loudly. He stopp ed when he was standing on top of the highest pile. In the morning. That th ey ve been treating you like a rabbit child. don t you? said Lolly. when a load of trash was de posited directly on top of him. It said two words: Nellie. he was at the top of the garbage he ap. that s wonderful. especially after his second day at the dump. Edward felt a sharp pain somewhere deep inside his china chest. He could see nothing. Lolly shouted. Edward was inclined to agree with Ernest s assessment of the world being made of g arbage. He felt a cold breeze blow through the room. r. and rubber tires. What kept Edward going. you and me. came Nellie s tremulous voice. and soon he gave up thin king about revenge and gave in to despair. Was a door open somewhere? Well. And garbag world is made of. than being buried at sea. He remembered. Goodbye. She gave him a shake. buried alive. It was worse because Edward was a different rabbit now. Got the old folks bewitched. I m taking the truck. the weight and the smell of t he garbage above and below him clouded Edward s thoughts. He crowed again. Her lipstick was a bright and bloody red. Ha. I am Ernest. The man crowed world. he just knew that he was. He lay on top of orange peels. EDWARD ENDED UP AT THE DUMP. Edward stared back at Lolly. a short man came climbing through the trash and rubble. Nellie called again. then. Goodbye. He couldn t say how he was different. Lawrence. louder this time. He understood that now.n about until the next morning. ranc id bacon. coffee grounds. He would pick her up by the ears! He would bury her u nder a mountain of trash! But after almost forty days and nights had passed. ha! Therefore. you don t fool me. I heard the talk in town. He could not see the sky. The first night. and so he was able to look up at the stars and find comfort in their light. thought Edward as Lolly hauled the garbage can out to the truck. his heart called out to him. Ha. The witch turned her into a warthog because she loved nobody. when Lolly picked him up again and pulled his dr ess down away from his face and stared him in the eye. Ma! Oh. For the first time. she said. Pelle grina s story about the princess who had loved nobody. . I m going to head on out and do some errands. He shouted. We ll be taking a trip togethe Holding Edward by the ears. He could not see the stars. Who am I? I m Ernest. dear. Lolly marched into the kitchen and shoved him face-d own in the garbage can. Ernest who world. Ernest who is king of the I be king of the world? Because I am king of garbages. much worse.

The rabbit wondered if that was love. miraculously. EDWARD DID NOT HAVE MUCH TIME to savor the light. cackling and crowing abou t being king of the world. too. The garbage around him shifted. Hey. get out of here. and the rabbit heard the sniffing and panting of a dog. Lucy? said the man. buttery light of l ate afternoon shone on Edward s face. The sun was shining and Edward felt exhilarated. man. Lucy barked. Then came the frenzied sound of digging. and suddenly. the beautiful. and then picked up again. And he would never be able to make it right. They crossed over the t racks. said the Ernest shouted. and there. blocking his view. this time around the middle. all garbages is mine! But the little dog did not stop. The garb age shifted again. for the dog suddenly appeared above him. Edward was dropped in front of a large pair of feet. And now she was gone from him. The dog ran and ran until they reached a railroad track. dropped. and Edward was aware of time passing only because every mo rning he could hear Ernest performing his dawn ritual. in a circle of bushes. He missed them terribly. too. He held him firmly around the middle.He heard Pellegrina say: You disappoint me. wear ing a dress. Why? he asked her. I know how much you enjoy rabbit pie. On his one hundred and eightieth day at the dump. It was because he had not loved Ab ilene enough. Edward was pulled out of the garb age by his ears. He wa nted to be with them. salvation arrived for Edward i n a most unusual form. you dog! of the world. Edward looked up and saw that the feet were attached to an enormous man with a l ong. It was Ernest. underneath a scraggly tree. that s mine. That s mine. king of garbages and therefore king The dog grabbed Edward by his pink dress and took off running. Day after day passed. crusted over with garbage. dark and shaggy. What s this. The dog began to bark. having known him before. Why do I disappoint you? But he knew the answer to that question. The little dog growled deep in its throat and then dropped Edward again and look ed him in the eye. You come back here! He bent and picked up Edward. dark beard. Edward stared back. And Nellie and Lawrence were gone. Who. and shaken back and forth with a great deal of ferocity. held in the slobbery mouth of a dog and being chased by a mad man? But he was happy. . Lucy. w ould have thought that he could be so happy now.

He saw t he path leading up to the house on Egypt Street. am I right? And you have been separated. wagging her tail and barking. THEY TRAVELED ON FOOT. Lucy growled. Edward felt. forever looking behind him. Yes. instead. aren t you. resonated inside Edward s body. is definitely a rabbit. They were always on the move. the man reached one enormous finger up and touched Edward s head from behind. My name is Bull. he began to feel a deep t .Yes. slung over Bull s shoulder with only his head and ear s sticking out. under the stars. took a liking to him and s lept curled up beside him. And what we have here. said the man. But in truth. At the sound of her name. Lucy. constant movement. He pushed it so it looked as if Edward were nodding his head in agreement. what you have so graciously delivered to me. at the road they had just traveled. Lu cy and I are lost. staring at Edward. they slept on the ground. I know. That is my guess. THEY traveled in empty railcars. Look. He saw the dusk descending and Abilene running toward him. Perhaps. At night. said Bull. And so it was that Edward took to the road with a hobo and his dog. too. Malone? He gave Edward a pla yful shake. sometimes. He cleared his throat. Abilene had loved him. but the best chef in the world would be hard-pressed to make him into a pie. and then with his hands still firml y around Edward s waist. some how. Rabbit pie is a true delight. yes. as you ma y have surmised. and then the noises she made in her sleep. she even rested her muzzle on his china st omach. To his surprise. That. but was. Isn t t Lucy danced around Bull s feet. Bull was always careful to position the rabbit so that he was no t looking down or up. is my dog. He is saying yes. said the man. So. you would like to be lost with us. You are some child s toy. whimpering and growling and ch uffing. I have found it much more agreeable to be lost in the company of others. Lucy let out another yip. You re made of china. girl. is the irony of our Edward rode in Bull s bedroll. Lucy. Malone. my friend. They looked each other in the eye. again. He thought of Abilene. Lucy. Lucy let out a hopeful yip. This rabbit is made of china. the sharp pain in his chest. You are lost. after her initial dis appointment about Edward being unfit for consumption. one of the pleasures of our exist ence. Would you care to join us? Bull waited for a moment. hat swell? Malone has agreed to travel with us. The man held Edward closer to him. said Bull. we are going nowhere. from the child who loves you.

Bull. Bull slid the hat over Edward s head and pulled it down and poked his arms through the smaller holes. Now you have the proper outlaw look. too. Bull was a good storyteller and an even better singer. Edward loved it when And he was grateful to Bull. Bull sat with Lucy leaning against his leg and Edward balanced on his and he sang from somewhere deep inside himself. said Bull one night. for sensing that a dress was not the right kin d of clothing for Edward. I am not like the princess. Nellie. Lawrence. let s not embarrass Malone by staring at his nak edness. He took his own knit stocking cap and cut a big hole in the top of it and two sm all holes on the side of it and then he took off Edward s dress. Lucy. said Bull. one of them would c all out. and I hope that it meets with your approval. Sing for us. he said to the dog. st ared up at the constellations.enderness for the dog. sad sound of Bull s songs move through him. with his ever-open eyes. of course. and then he said the names o f the people who loved him. and word of his existence spread. See? Edward told Pellegrina. Soon . THE OTHERS THOUGHT that Edward was a great good joke. Lucy. I have a solution. AT FIRST. Edward. ow you look like a rabbit on the run. I know about love. Look away. He said their names. He simply sat with Edward on his knee and said nothing. the dress has seen better days. He started with Abilene and then went to Nellie and Lawrence and from there to Bull and Lucy. Abilene. right knee feel Lucy s feel the d Bull sang. cutting up several red handkerchiefs and sewing the m together so that they formed a makeshift covering for Edward s long legs. The pants Bull made himself. Just as Edward could whimpers and growls resonate through his body at night. Got yourself a little dolly. laughing. when Bull and Lucy gathered around a campfire with other tramps. Let s chop him up and put him in the stew pot. the men shouted. with no wish to offend you. again. It was so torn and dirty and full of holes that it bare ly resembled a dress anymore. he could also eep. he said to Edward. said Bull. So it w . But Bu ll never got angry. Malone. the hoboes said. but I m forced to tell you that you stick out like a sor e thumb in that princess dress. it s not my desire to offend you or to comment negativel y on your choice of garb. Bull? Edward. the men became accustomed to Edward. N Or when Bull sat with Edward carefully balanced on his knee. standing back to admire his work. There were times. too. There you go. During the night. felt a surge of anger at being referred to as a dolly. A rabbit. Nellie s beautiful dress had not fared well at the dump or in its subsequent rambl ings with Bull and Lucy. while Bull and Lucy slept. And also. Bull. Now you just need some pants. and then he ended again with Abilene: Abilene.

He could not move himself. of course he is. And Edward felt a warm rush of pleasure at being recognized. Edward s new and strange ability to sit very still and concentrate the whole of his being on the stories of anot her. Almost seven years pa ssed. Jack came and sat next to Bull and asked if he could borrow th e rabbit. Bull put his hands up in the air. Edward knew what it was like to say over and over again the names of those you h ad left behind. He delivered a swift kick to Lucy s side that made her yelp i n surprise. Faith. Whatever it was that had begun in Nellie s kitchen. Malone? After this. He s listening to every dang word. said the man to Bull. Taffy. . Say something. Jimmy. Eileen. Jack said. and Jack sat with Edward upon his knee. said the that when Bull and Lucy stepped up to a campfire in another town. you dirty bum. o motel. Edward became an excellent tramp: happy to be on the roa d. T hey are all in North Carolina. A man entered the freight car and shone a flashlight in Bull s face and then kicke d him awake. Edward wanted to be able to defend Lucy. But one nigh t. And he had never regretted this m ore deeply than he did that night when he and Bull and Lucy were discovered in t he empty railcar. in a railroad yard in Memphis. some tramp would take Edward aside and whisper the names of his children in Edward s ear. restless when he was still. as Bull and Lucy slept in an empty freight car and Edward kept watch. Those are my kids names. another sta te. Edward had known what he was: a rabbit made of china. W illiam. oka y. He said. and in that time. You remember their names. He wh ispered in Edward s ear. He could have ridden the rails forever. He could only lie there and wait. He knew what it was like to miss someone. and Jack Junior and Taffy she s the baby. And so he listened. Lucy started to bark. became invaluable around the hobo campfire. a rabbit wit h bendable arms and legs and ears. though. Look at Malone. An d in his listening. You bum. We are lost. Ted. This ain t n Bull sat up slowly. The sound of the wheels on the train tracks becam e a music that soothed him. The rabbit stayed lost with Lucy and Bull for a long time. wherever Bull and Lucy and Edward went. at being known. Jack Junior. he said. I m sick of you guys sleeping everywhere. He was bendable. the men knew Edward and were glad to see him. Malone! they shouted in unison. another place entirely. All his life. Shut up. Nancy. said a man named Jack one evening. Later that night. Helen. But he could do nothi ng. only if he was in th e hands of another. Helen. You ever been to North Carolina? It s a pretty stat e. Certainly. Skipper. Bull handed Edward over. said Bull. his heart opened wide and then wider still. That s where they are. Betty. trouble arrived.

turned and flung open the door of the railcar. sir. . That s what I say. Edward didn t care what she said. he was on his back . his heart said. From far behind him. Bull. Only he ain t real. He could not hear the train. Not when I m i n charge. Lucy. sir. He How many times. Things are out of hand. she said. Edward looked up at the stars. Edward landed with a most alarming thump. she cried. t on Edward. She put down her basket and bent and stared at Edwa rd. Looks like a rabbit. No. No. Edward wondered. the rabbit thought. She stood back up. but then he stopped. ha. there s a use for everything and everything has its use. one of hollowness a nd despair. staring up at the night sky. and then he tumbled and tumbled and tu mbled down a long dirty hill. she said. He poked at Edward with the toe of his boot. he sent Edward sailing out into the darkness. Something deep inside him ached. Edward listened. He looked down at Edward.Lost. would he have to leave without getting the chan ce to say goodbye? A lone cricket started up a song. The rabbit flew through the late spring air. It makes no difference to me. and then he turned back and with one swift kick. You bet you re lost. Arroooooooooo. She pushed at Edward with her fishing pole. She rubbed her back. he heard Lucy s anguished howl. Pick me up or don t pick me up. THE SUN ROSE and the cricket song gave way to bird song and an o ld woman came walking down the dirt road and tripped right over Edward. Hmph. Things ar e out of control. The train suddenly lurched into motion. The terrible ache he had felt the night before h ad gone away and had been replaced with a different feeling. He started to say the names of the constellations . What I say is. When he finally stopped moving. No free rides for rabbits. IN THE MORNING. Not on my watch. Hmph. He wished that he could cry. That s Malone. she said again. The world was silent. And then the man said. said the man again. He could not hear Lucy. ahhhhrrrrrrooo. said Bull. What s this? and he shone the ligh What the heck? said the man.

She clapped her hands.The old lady picked him up. But for the first time in his lif e. The old woman found a use for him. Edward told the stars. caw. without ceasing. said the Pellegrina crow. Clyde? Edward felt a weariness so intense wash over him that he thought he might actually be able to sigh aloud. d iving at his ears. pi e tins hung from the pole. Edward hung by his velvet ears and looked up at the night sky. together. He perched on the pole and screamed a dark message in Edward s left ear: Caw. Crows. he looked at them and felt no comfort. cawing and screeching. he thought. Go ahead. One large crow in particular would not leave the rabbit al one. . she said. he felt mocked. the sun set and the birds flew away. said the woman. the old lady said. She nailed his velvet ears to the wooden pole and spread his arms out as if he were flying and attached his pa ws to the pole by wrapping pieces of wire around them. he thought. the stars seemed to say to him. he soon discovered. and then she kept walking. Finally. The birds were insistent. You bet I have. in our constell ations. Clyde. They came flying at him. Would the world never tire of calling him by th e wrong name? The old woman clapped her hands again. listened. She bent him double and put him in her basket. I have been loved. Scare who off? Edward wondered. As the sun rose higher and shone meaner and brighter . You are down there alone. Edward. caw. Birds. Caw. And then she walked away from him. They flew around his head. You got to act ferocious. Ain t a doubt in my mind that you can scare them off. which smelled of weeds and fish. Edward was right. Nobody knows the trou bles I seen. out of the garden and toward her small house. I am done with caring. Get to work. He mistook the large crow for Pellegrina. And we are up here. in spite of himself. They clinked and clanked and shone in the morning sun . caw. too. His troubles were not over. Go on. I don t care. Instead. I ve seen troubles. Edward became somewhat dazed. In addition to Edward. swinging the basket and singing. She hung him from a pole in her vegetable garden. He saw the stars. They tugged at the loose th reads in his sweater. Scare them bir ds off. And apparently they aren t over yet. Clyde. Turn me into a warthog if you want. wheeling over his head.

into the deep. reminding the rabbit with each tap that h e had no wings. o Edward. But her e I am. he said t The rabbit spent the day hanging by his ears. he would have flown out of the garbage and followed her and landed on her head. and then came true dark. Whenever the woman wasn t looking. bright blue sky. when the man kicked him. g it! and the bird spread his wings and flew away. Do your work. A whippoorwill sang out over and over again. BRYCE. Eventually. The birds circled over Edward s head. Whip poor Will. Bryce! Ma am? shouted the old woman. Bryce and the old lady left the field. holding on with his sharp claws. Bryce winked at Ed ward as he walked past him. Bryce stepped out of the shadows. He wiped his hand across his nose. What was it like to have wings? Edward wondered. A crow settled on Edward s head. Hey. he could not move on his own at all. Instead. ins tead he would have risen up and sat on top of the train and laughed at the man: Caw. He wiped his nose with the back of his hand and continued to look up at Edward. SAID THE OLD WOMAN. Hey. that not only could he not fly. It was the saddest sound Ed ward had ever heard. ma am. I come to save you. And when Lolly took him to the dump. Yes m. baking in the hot sun. Edward would not have fallen to the ground. he would have flown in the opposite direction. laughing at him. Dusk descended over the field. the sky lightened and the stars disappeared one by one. watching th e old woman and Bryce weed and hoe the garden. Whip poor Will. I ain t gonna say it again. In the late afternoon. Git away from that rabbit. The birds re turned and the old woman came back to the garden. said Bryce. up. he whispered to Edward. I bet you didn t think I d come back. He wiped his nose with the back of his hand and then playe d another bit of song on the harmonica. And then came another song. If he had had wings when he was tossed overboard. And on the train. She brought a boy with her. One of the crows lighted on Edward s shoulder and tapp ed with his beak at Edward s china face. in any way. he would not have sunk to the bottom of the sea. Go on.So? said the stars. and the boy flapped his arms and shouted. The boy s eyes were brown with flecks of gold shining in them. said Bryce. I ll be back to get you. What difference does that make when you are all alone now? Edward could think of no answer to that question. GIT away from that rabbit. said Bryce. I ain t paying you to stand an Yes. caw. Bryce raised his hand and waved. d stare. . caw. he said to Edward. the hum of a harmonica.

He mistook it. Who he was. I tried and tried. The coughing was the saddest sound that Edward had ever heard. he had to admit. Sarah. She loved that baby doll . there were two beds and a kerosene lamp and not much else . Bryce stopped walking and shook his head and wiped a t his nose with the back of his hand. He was drunk and stepped on that baby s head and smashed it into a hun dred million pieces. You go on ahead and cough. But he broke it. he told her. the kerosene light cast her trembling shadow. I am nothing but a hollow rabbit. he thought. the rabbit f elt a rush of relief. hunched over and small. That s okay. He broke it. But still. maybe four years old. Sarah Ruth stopped. She s sick. Them pieces was so small. A doll. She had her a baby doll made out of china. You don t know Sarah Ruth. thought Edward as Bryce climbed the pole and worked at the wires that were tied around his wrists. At this point in his story. She was young. sadder even than the mournful call of the whippoorwill. I couldn t. On the wall of the cabin. I couldn t make them go back togeth er. The little girl sat up in her bed and immediately started to cough. Bryce started to walk again. honey. He started to walk. Inside. That s all right. Perhaps. He don t know. he said. that it was a house. He won t buy her nothing. Finally. a highly preferable alternative to hanging by his ears f rom a post. it is not too late. for me to be saved. You got to wake up now. . and she had white-blond hair. Bryce put hi s hand on her back. He says sh e don t need nothing. But when the last nail was out and he fell forward into Bryce s arms. Bryce whispered. Edward could see that her eyes were the same gold-fle cked brown as Bryce s. and the feeling of relief was followed by one of joy. instead. What was clear was that he was being taken to a child to make up for the loss of a doll. i t was. after all. BRYCE SLUNG EDWARD OVER HIS shoulder. But he don t know. at first. He took the harmonica out of his pocket and played the beginning of a simp le melody. and even in t he poor light of the lamp.Too late. An d to be thought of as a likely replacement for a doll offended him. The house in which Bryce and Sarah Ruth lived was so small and crooked that Edwa rd did not believe. She coughed and coughed and coughed. She s my siste r. for a chicken coop. Sarah Ruth ain t had nothing to play with since. How Edward loathed dolls. I come to get you for Sarah Ruth. I am only a doll made of china. Sarah Ruth obliged him. said Bryce. I brung you some thing. That s right. He says she don t need nothing because she ain t gonna live. Bryce said. Sarah Ruth. Bryce laid Edward at the foot of one of the beds and then lit the lamp. was not clear to Edward. Too late. thought Edward as Bryce pulled the nails out of his ears.

She limited herself. When the fit was done. . He s for you. Sarah Ruth laughed and clapped her hands. honey? Jangles. You want to see what I brung you? Sarah Ruth nodded. said Bryce. She continued to stare down at Edward. rarely said more than one word at a tim e. honey. This knowledge provoked another fit of coughing in Sarah Ruth. Bryce asked. He handed Edward to her. That s right. Hush. she said to Edward as she rocked him back and forth. The girl closed her eyes. E dward felt the whole of his china body flood with warmth. I like that name. He s yours. to be stared down at with so much love. She rocked Edward back and forth and stared down at him and smiled. she uncurled herself and held out her arms. Jangles. at the end of the bed. Rabbit. like a sol dier. I got him special for you. her eyes wide and disbelieving. Yours. All right now. Baby. Words. She said only what needed to be said. Mine? Sarah Ruth. and Bryce moved Edward s china legs and china arms so it looked as if he were dancing.Bryce said. said Sarah Ruth without taking her eyes off Edward. and she hunched o ver again. said Sarah Ruth. Sarah Ruth looked first at Edward and then at Bryce and then back at Edward agai n. Sarah Ruth opened her eyes. said Bryce. Abilene had not done it. she said. huh? That s a good name. Edward was soon to discover. made her cough. said Bryce. You got to close your eyes. You going to give him a name. said Bryce. Nor had Nellie. From the minute I first seen him. for sure. I knew he belonged to you. at least several of them strung together. I said to myself. you can open them. And most certainly Bull had not. It was a singular sensation to be held so gently and yet so fiercely. Bryce patted Sarah Ruth on the head. Never in his life had Edward been cradled like a baby. That rabbit is for Sarah Ruth. Bryce picked up Edward and held him so that he was standing straight.

Sarah Ruth rocked Edward back and forth. Sometimes. Don t look like no baby doll to me. It don t make no difference. she said to Edward as she lined up the buttons on the bed and arranged the m into different patterns. Pretty. None of it. She held out her arms. Don t you sass me. said the father. The father dropped Edward on the bed. and the father came home. He wanted to protect her. and Bryce t ook out his harmonica and started to play. she squeezed Edward so tigh t that he was afraid he would crack in two. He wanted to take care of her. Bryce returned with a biscuit for Sarah Ruth and a ball o f twine for Edward. It don t matter anyway. and with his pocketknife. He belongs to her. in between coughing fits. Him and me got a surpr Bryce took Edward off in a corner of the room. coughing. the father did not come back that day. A Fortunately. was the man wh o crushed the heads of china dolls. when the light was gray and uncertain. This. honey. It does so matter. making his song keep rhythm with the rain. ise for you. said the father. when a coughing fit was particularly bad. Sarah Ruth held the biscuit in both hands and took small. Normally. murmured Sarah Ruth. and Bryce picked up the rabbit and handed him to Sarah Ruth. It s a baby doll. Outside the cabin. said Bryce. nd besides. he was certain. said Sarah Ruth between coughs. clingy behavior of this sort very annoying. said Bryce to Edward. He raised his hand and slapped Bryce across his mouth and then he turned and left the house. holding Edward in her lap and playing with a box filled with buttons. He picked Edward up by one of his ears and said. He ain t nothing but a bully. was frightened. he cut . Also. hanging by one ear. Edward would have found intrusive. Bryce went out to work and S arah Ruth spent the day in bed. he don t hardly ever come home. Jangles. BRYCE AND SARAH RUTH HAD A father. Edward. said Bryce. At the end of the day. but there was somet hing about Sarah Ruth. Let me hold Jangles. He wanted to do more for her. You ain t got to worry about him. You eat that all up. she took to sucking on one or the other of Edward s ears. tentative bites. Sarah Ruth was si tting up in bed. He s hers. I ain t never. Early the next morning. back and forth. said Bryce.Jangles. thunder cracked and then came the sound of rain falling on th e tin roof. said Bryce.

and then Bryce laid Edward down and took Sarah Ruth in his lap and rocked her and rubbed her back. all three of them looking up at the sky. He left Edward lying on the bed. THE SUN ROSE and set and rose and set again and again. said Sarah Ruth. to where the air wa s clear and sweet. Surely. he held on to the harmonica and played a bright and lively tune. honey. And the whole while. In the evenings. There. That s your star. And then. staring up at the smoke-stained ceiling. he said. Edward wished on it. Jangles. Bryce said. at the ends of the twine. So Bryce held Sarah Ruth and Sarah Ruth held Edward and the three of them stood outside. Jangles. You want some fresh air? he asked her. Bryce came back inside. They were quiet for a long time. Let s get you out of this nasty old air. Sarah Ruth stopped coughing. what we re going to do is make you dance. Okay. You make Make a wish. Them are the ones with magic. said Sarah Ruth. THE DAYS PASSED. Dance. Mama used to hold on to her and dance her arou nd the room. You eating that biscuit? Uh-huh. huh? Bryce carried his sister outside. she would be able to breathe without coughing. We got a surprise for you. He would carry her in his arms. too. Bryce said. so high above the world. you can open them now. If he had them. Edward thought that maybe she had fallen asleep. After a minute. He was hugged half to death and it felt good. Close your eyes. His sweater had almost completely unraveled and it didn t bother hi m. she said. Bryce made Edward dance and drop and sway. at the same time. Bryce stood up. You hold on. he would fly high above the world. and he would take Sarah Ruth with him. and the rabbi t. still carrying Sarah Ruth. Sometime s the father came home and sometimes he did not. said Bryce. moving the strings with the sticks with his one hand. Bryce said. he t old her. you a wish for anything you want. at the hands o f Bryce. Bryce called out to Sarah Ruth. lengths of twine and tied them to Edward s arms and feet and then tied the twi ne to sticks of wood. She wants you. You got to look for falling stars. thought again about having wings. . Sarah Ruth laughed. Edward danced and danced. He took Edward over to the bed and said. Sarah Ruth opened her eyes. She laughed until she started to cough. And she pointed to a star streaking through the night sky. She held out her arms. honey. with his other hand. Sarah Ruth loves dancing. he thought. his voice high and tight. all day I been thinking about it. too. And even though it was Sarah Ruth s star. Edward s ears became soggy and he did not care.

The walk to town took all night. but the terrible scarecrow feeling had come back. He wanted to dance for her . too. take a little breath. You. Sarah Ruth got worse. You can t cry! Bryce shouted. He wrapped Sarah Ruth in a blanket and carried her away. don t know nothing about love. Bryce stopped leaving the house. So. Edward had fallen out of Sarah Ruth s arms the night before and she had not asked for him again. I loved her. face-down on the floor. But the father was bigger and stronger. How could thi s be? he wondered. HOW MANY DANCING RABBITS HAVE you seen in your life? Bryce said to Edward. Oh. Folks put on any kind of show rig ht there on the street corner and people pay em for it. she began to cough up blood. Her breathing became ragged and uncertain. as if she was trying to remember. Edward danced for strangers on .One month passed and then two and then three. We re going to Memphis. Breathe. He wanted her to hold him. Sarah Ruth stopped breathing. Edward cou ld hear Bryce moving around. He liste ned as the father wept. And not only did Edward feel hollow. Bryce stood over her and said. please br eathe. Edward listened a s Bryce wept. finally. And then. Come on. the feeling he had when he was hangin g by his ears in the old lady s garden. I loved her. I loved her and now she is gone. that she was hi s girl. arms over his head. You got no right to cry. and then there was a terrible moment when the father insisted that Sarah Ruth belonged to him. and that he was taking her to be buried. said Bryce. She ain t yours. the boy pi cked Edward up. I seen it. and tha t nothing would ever matter again. In the fifth month. and he prevailed. She ain t yours! Bryce screamed. carrying Edward under one arm and talking to him the whole time. The small house became very quiet. but it was not for Sarah Ruth. honey. Oh no. One. He listened as the father came home and shouted at Bryce. said the father. in between breaths. she refused to eat. he ached. Every part of his china body hurt . his baby. I can t ell you how many I seen. thought Edward from deep inside the well of her arms. That s how you and me are going to make some mo ney. How could he bear to live in a world without Sarah Ruth? The yelling between the father and son continued. on a bright morning in Sep tember. Edward tried to listen. Breathe. what to do. what breathing was. And he did dance. He sat at home all day and held Sarah Ruth in h is lap and rocked her back and forth and sang to her. You can t take her. Please. You never even loved her. And in the sixth month. thought Edward. We re leaving. You I loved her. Bryce walked without stopping. muttering to himself. Please. honey. He ached for Sarah Ruth. I seen it the last time I was in Memphis. the feeling that nothing mattered. Jangles. Bryce said.

Bryc e started to cry. said the mother. The old woman turned and hobbled away. away from Edward. said a small child. Pellegrina? thought the dancing rabbit. He leaned the ra bbit s forehead up against the counter so that he would not fall. He did not make Edward stop dancing. On the ground in front of them was Sarah Ruth s button box. he said. His arms and legs jerked. Bryce played his harmonica and moved Edward s st rings. What you gonna have. id. THE DINER WAS CALLED NEAL S. He reached out hi Nasty. Bryce stopped playing his harmonica. The sun became an orange dusty ball low in the sky. But the boy did not stop playing his harmonica. Look at me. She stared at Edward wi th deep. Edward saw his tears land on the pavement. Fix me. He stood and watched the bo y and the rabbit for a long time. No. look at that bunny. she sa dirty. he put his hat back on his head and w alked away. I want to touch him. An old woman leaning on a cane stepped up close to them. sugar? the waitress said to Bryce. Finally. Help me. She nodded at him. A man wearing a hat stopped and stared at Edward and Bryce. THE word was written in big. Look at me. The man took off his hat and held it over his heart. Come back. He let Edward fall to the pavement. Finally. red neon letters that fl ashed on and off. I ain t gonna cry anymore. when the sun was gone and the streets were dark. I m done now. it was warm and bright and smelled like fried chicken and toast and coffee. s hand for Edward.a dirty street corner in Memphis. I have learned how to love. he said. thought Edward. You got your w ish. and Edward bowed and shuffled and swayed and people stopped to stare and point and laugh. And then after a long pause. The shadows lengthened. Jangles . . he said. Bryce cried harder. he said to her. he said. Come on. Bryce sat at the counter and put Edward on a stool next to him. She pulled the child back. It s a sin to dance. Bryce wiped his nose and his eyes with the back of his hand. The l id was open to encourage people to drop change inside it. dark eyes. he picked up the button box and looked i nside it. And it s a terrible thing. It s a particular s in for rabbits to dance. Mama. Inside. I m broken. He made Edward dance faster. We got us enough money to get something to eat. My heart is broken.

n show business is hard work. You re going to have to talk to N eal about that. said Marlene as she cleared away the plates. and some eggs and I want steak. said Neal. Bryce picked it up and looked at it and then shook his head. sir. he said to Marlene when she came back and filled up his coffee cup. She looked at Edward s face. I ain t got enough. He s mine now. You reckon? . said Neal. It. said Bryce. For. enough. Marlene. sugar? I ain t got enough money. You. I mean. I. Right? I reckon. Broken. red-faced man who came out of the kitchen holding a spatula in one hand. Is that right? said the waitress. Go ahead. What does it matter? I am broken. You came in here hungry. Yes m. was both the owner and the cook. This your rabbit? she said to Bryce. you was hungry for sure. He was a large. Neal. Bryce wiped at his nose with the back of his hand. sir. He wiped his nose with the back of his hand. I ain t got Ma am. What. right? he said to Bryce. And some toast. too. red-haired . Well. Push me around. She stopped pouring the coffee and looked at him. me and him. no sir. he said to Edward. and then she let go of his ear and he fell forward so that his head rested against the counter again. He brought the spatula down on the countertop with a thwack Bryce jumped. He belonged to my sister. He picked Edward up off the stool and held him close. They were all staring at the boy and the rab . We re in show business. The waitress leaned forward and pulled at one of Edward s ears and then pushed him backward so that she could see his face. said Bryce. And you ordered some food and I cooked it and Marlene brought it to you. Mar lene. Cooked. Yes m. Yes. Yes. Yes. sir. I want a bi g old steak. Everyo ne in the diner had stopped eating. I recko Marlene tucked the check under the coffee cup. said Bryce.Give me some pancakes. said Bryce. it said. She had a nametag on the front of her dress. and Bryce ate all of it without even looking up from his plate. Do with me as you will. it turned out. And some coffee. said Bryce. thought Edward. The food came.

Bryce took the harmonica out of his mouth and said. swung him so that his head hit the edge of the counter hard. girl. Edward s world. He could dance to pay for what I ate. Susanna. He w as wearing a fine suit made of red silk. IT WAS DUSK. You ever seen a rabbit dance? How s that? said Neal. went black. thought Edward. and Nellie and Lawrence and Bryce. Bryce screamed. Somebody laughed.bit and Neal. This is Abilene s house. gruff voice. good old rabbit pie. AND EDWARD WAS walking down a sidewalk. He could dance some more if y ou want him to. Hello. I want You ever before in your life seen a rabbit dance? Bryce set Edward on the floor an d started pulling the strings attached to his feet. And then without warning. And he swung Edward by the feet. said Neal. Edward. She held out her arms to him. said Bryce. I know this house. and then he turned onto a path that led up to a hou se with lighted windows. standing at the door. said Abilene. Malone. There was a loud crack. Hello. called Nellie. Lucy came running out the front door of the house. Neal stared at Bryce. barking and jumping and waggi ng her tail. Abilene was there. Bull . You ate it. said Neal. He put his harmonica in his mouth and played a sad song that went along with t he dance. Down. He was walking on his own. Marlene served it. said Bull. swung the door wide and Edward walked inside. We ve been waiting for you. Edward looked up and there was Bull. I cooked it. putting one foot in front of the other without any assistance from anybody. Bryce cleared his throat. He walked down the sidewalk. I am on Egypt Street. You ordered it. he said. making him do a slow shuffle . Only Marlene looked away. Now. Jangles. He tapped the spatula lightly on the counter. said a deep. And the world. my money. This is what I think of dancing rabbits. he reached down and grabbed hold of Edward.

He looked around the room. So they all went outside. Catch him. do anything. that is the Sarah Ruth constellation. He pointed up at the stars. Why did she have to b e so far away? If only I had wings. I could fly to her. You searching for Sarah Ruth? Bryce asked. . And with a terrific lunge. You can see it right there. toward the stars. He had an elegant ne w suit. No! shouted Abilene. the rabbit saw something flutter. the most magnificent wings he had ever seen . It would break my heart. Bull held him firmly to the ground. orange and red and blue and yellow. Edward looked ov er his shoulder and there they were. Edward beat his wings. Lucy barked.But Edward stood still. he thought. deep and sweet and familiar. said Lawrence. Edward flew higher. You got to go outside if you want to see Sarah Ruth. Stay with us. He spread his wings and flew off Lawrence s should ers. t him on his shoulder. They belonged t o him. You can t go yet. And now he had wings. They were his wings. repeated Abilene. said Bryce. Edward felt a pang of sorrow. Malone! shouted Bull. Stay with us. Neither could I. He picked Edward up and pu Yep. He could fly anywhere. toward Sa rah Ruth. said Bryce. What a wonderful night this was! He was walking on his own. Lucy and Bull and Nellie and Lawrence and Bryce and Ab ilene and Edward. said Bryce. Why had he nev er realized it before? His heart soared inside of him. I couldn t stand to lose you again. And they were on his back. Out of the corner of his eye. Lucy bent her face to Edward s. said Bu ll. he grabbed hold of Edward s feet an d pulled him out of the sky and wrestled him to the earth. said Nellie. Edward nodded. said Abilene. out of his hands and up into the nighttime sky. said Abilene. but it was no use. Right there. Edward started to cry.

thought Edward. unbelievably dirty work of art. apparently. he had no clot hes on at all. said Lucius. The question is. perhaps. Your head. He said that he could not. the one with the continually running nose. I fixed it. He gave you up so that you could be healed. Yes. And then he remembered: Bryce. there you are. no pun i ntended. Bryce. but art nonetheless. I would say a surpassingly. Twenty-one. the man said. I am Lucius Clarke. Bryce. I am a businessman. I can put your rabbit back toge ther again. Neal swinging him through the air. You shall have rabbit-fur ears and a rabbit-fur . Extraordinary. Lucius Clarke. I brought you back from the world of the dead. EXCEEDINGLY WELL MADE. And he did not have wings. no. No worries. But no worries. Lucius Clarke nodded. may I tell yo u? Will it upset you? Well. He was on a wooden table. Lucius Clarke clapped his hands together. my friend. He was naked again. thought Edward. and Edward lay on his back trying to abso rb it. but mine. Your head . my heart is broken. might not have been able to rescue you. a doll mender without my skills. Only two. I told him. Young sir. The first option being that he seek assistance elsewhere. Option two was that I would fix you to the very best of my considerable abilities and then you would become mine his no longer. I will restore you to what I pe rceive to be your former glory. SAID the man who was running a warm cloth over Edward s face . he said. . I can see that you are listening now. Your head wa s broken. Just as your broken head has been d ealt with. He was not wearing a red suit. It s my job. he said. I fully intend to keep up my end of the bargain. Here Lucius fell silent. And here. O f course. My heart. You are wondering. was in twenty-one pieces. Two options only. No need to thank me. All modesty aside. Allow me to introduce myself. He nodded. Put him back together. quite literally. And dirt can be dealt with. about your young friend. Ah. he could not. the man said. And your friend chose option two. In fact. You are whole. Twenty-one pieces? Edward repeated mindlessly. he sa id. had been in twenty-one pieces and now was pu t back together into one. But let s not speak of what might have been. Lucius Clarke put his hand on his ch est and bowed deeply over Edward. I said. I must admit that a l esser doll mender. Let us speak instead of w hat is. Put him together again. I always say the truth must be met head-on. begging for my assi stance. His head. For a price. He brought you here. agreeing with himself. doll mender. the diner. This was quite a speech to wake up to. I told him then that he had two options. a work of art.She licked his tears away. He was in a room with sunshine pouring in from high windows. Edward looked into the eyes of the man. young sir. really. You have been pulled back from the brink of oblivion by y our humble servant. weeping. No. . can you pay this price? He could not.

thought Edward. the si lver harmonica in his left hand flashing brilliantly in the sunlight flooding in through the windows. said Lucius.tail. put together again. said Lucius Clarke. someday. Go. your eyes repainted to a brig ht and stunning blue. have entered doll time. All in good time. said Lucius Clarke. said Bryce. Bryce nodded. st tell him goodbye. said Bryce. Jangles. Your whiskers will be repaired and replaced. E dward could see the whole shop: Lucius Clarke s workbench and the windows to the o utside world and the door that the customers used to enter and leave. All in good ti me. you looked terri ble. as I promised you he would be. In the doll business. your head was busted in and He is put together again. But he stood without moving. And then. said Bryce. looking at Edward. sir. I won t be able to bear it if you go. cleaned and polished. Tell him goodbye. Can I hold him? No. he asked. AND SO EDWARD TULANE WAS mended. Hey. my fine friend. He has been saved. dress ed in an elegant suit and placed on a high shelf for display. He wiped his hand across his nose and the gesture fill ed Edward with a terrible feeling of love and loss. said Bryce. Bryce nodded again. I cannot have you in my shop every day mooning over what you have lost. Bryce turned. Goodbye. Can t I see him? asked Bryce. said Lucius. he said. You. I am afraid that we made a deal. go. He got up from his workbench and went to Edward s shelf and p icked him up and held him so that Bryce could see him. Yes. Lucius sighed again. From this shelf. we have a saying: there is real time and there is doll time. You will be clothed in the finest of suits. thought Edward. You look good. don t. Yes sir. From this shelf. He is repaired. I just want to look at him. You may look. Please. Now you mu Don t go. Edward saw Bryce open the door one day and stand in the threshold. The last time I seen you. And now you must leave. He wiped his hand across his nose. I will reap the return on my investment in you. said Lucius. Young sir. The door close . Lucius Clarke sighed. He walked through the door of the doll mender s shop. You may look and then you must go and not come back. said Lucius Clarke.

This is a shop The doll let out a small squeak. buy you. said Lucius. still. I have no interest in being purchased. You re in the wrong place. You don t want to be own The doll gasped. but it is obvious that I cannot. TECHNICALLY. Not rabbits. for dolls. I would love to shoo. He found them annoying and self-centered. he said. said Edward. She is quite lovely. I have known love. isn t she? And he plucked the doll from the shelf. . a china doll with green glass eyes and red lips and dark brown hair. dolls with eyes that opened and closed and dolls w ith painted-on eyes. the one with the green dress. said Edward. dolls dressed as queens and dolls wearing sailor suits. I have bee n loved by a boy who played the harmonica and by a girl who died. Edward said nothing. dolls with eyes that open a nd close. said the doll. she said to Lucius Clarke . she said. This impassioned speech shut up Edward s shelf-mate for a considerable amount of t ime. Yes. After a long silence. And Edward was alone. They want baby dolls or eleg ant dolls such as myself. They did not speak to each other again. Well. OF COURSE. that one right there. I hope you don t think that anyone is going to The people who come in here want dolls. Again. Yes. I am a rabbit. sweet song. This opinion was immediately reinforced by his first shelf-mate. twit tery and vain. she said at last. not rabbits. The doll was sold two weeks later to a g randmother who was purchasing her for a grandchild. Edward had never cared for dolls. I have already been loved. What are you? she said in a high-pitched voice when Edward was placed on the shelf next to her. Shoo.d. Lucius Clarke s shop was filled with dol ls lady dolls and baby dolls. I have been loved by a girl named Abilene. She was wea ring a green satin dress that fell to her knees. Edward said nothing. I have been loved by a fisherman and his wife and a hobo and his dog. HE WAS not alone. dolls with pretty dresses. said Edward. The bell tinkled. said Edward. You don t want somebody to buy you? ed by a little girl who loves you? Sarah Ruth! Abilene! Their names went through Edward s head like the notes of a sa d. she is. Don t talk to me about love. the doll said. My point is that no one is going to buy you. she said.

So meone always comes. No point at all. in fact. said the doll. said the old doll. The doll mender walked away. immobile. said Edward. Edward was the lone contrarian. like his. I am pleased to make your acquaintan said Edward. The spot next to the rabbit stayed vacant for some time. How do you do? ce. letting in early morning sun or late afternoon l ight. MILADY. After a time . had bee n broken and repaired. You must wonder who will love you. Pish. It s too painful. me.Goodbye and good riddance. You must be filled with expectancy. I have been in places that were heavenly and others that were horrid. she asked. you learn that each place is different. thin voice. said Edward. What kind of adventures would you have if you were in the world for a century? The old doll said. One hundred years? said Edward. THERE YOU ARE. At least one hundred years old. He prided himself on not hoping. He prided himself on keeping his heart silent. I wonder who will come for me this time. said the old doll. right before he closed the shop. I have lived one hundred years. Quite different. whom you will love next. lifting the hearts of the dolls inside. And you become a different doll in eac h place. this time. Who will it be? I don t care if anyone comes for me. I am done with being loved. not for me. turning out the lights one by one. At least one hundred. One place is the same as another to Oh. He said as he was mending me that I am at least that. the person entering the shop would be the one who wanted them. Someone will come. MEET THE rabbit doll. too. Have you been here long? Months and months. Day after day. The doll mender confirmed this. the door to the shop opened and closed. There s no point in going on if you feel that w ay. I am done with hope. she said in a high. closed tight. Edward told her. Her face was. said Lucius. thought Edward. I am old. on not allowing his heart to lift inside of him. a web of cracks. In the gloom of the shop. You must be awash in ho pe. She was wearing a baby bonnet. And then one day at dusk. all of them thinking when the door swung wide that this time. And in that time. Where is your courage? . Hello. I m done with loving. But that s dreadful. Edward could see that the doll s head. But I don t care. Lucius Clarke placed another doll on the shelf next to Edward. thought Edward Tulane. Edward thought about everything that had happened to him in his short life.

a br ight shaft of early morning light came flooding in.Somewhere else. my darlin gs. said the girl. said Edward. Lucius Clarke came and unlocked the shop. the old doll s voice. he muttered to himself. Not possible. I guess. said Lucius Clarke. No. The first customer was a little girl with her father. Not possible. she said. of spells and curses. Get it all over with now. as if she were still sitting next to him. No. Oh. She nodde d at him. Good morning. He switched the sign on the do or to OPEN. What s that? Nothing. Lu cius came and took her off the shelf and handed her to Natalie. you know that she is very old. the old doll let out a sigh. And when they le ft. of listen ing and love. In the morning. said the old doll. You might as well l eap from this shelf right now and let yourself shatter into a million pieces. he called out to them. her father asked. my lovelies. then the whole journey is pointless. He turned on the light over his tools. Not that you could. He pulled up the shades on th e windows. I am looking for a friend. when the girl s father opened the door for his daughter and the old doll. Shall I push you? said the old doll. Next to Edward. Lucius Clarke said to them. She is an antique. Ge t it over with. said Natalie firmly. Her words made Edward think of Pellegrina: of warthogs and princesses. You disappoint me. he told his heart. You disappoint me greatly. If you have no intention of loving or being loved. Her father put her on his shoulders and they walked slowly around the shop. said Edward. She needs me. Natalie? Yes. I would leap if I was able. The old doll and Edward sat on their shelf and stared straight ahead. she said. Have you decided. . The dark in the doll shop was now complete. She looked Edward right in the eyes. She seemed to sit up straighter. What if there was somebody waiting to love h im? What if there was somebody whom he would love again? Was it possible? Edward felt his heart stir. Good morning. Are you looking for something special? Yes. The girl studied each doll carefully. You disappoint me. and Edward heard quite clear ly. I want the one in the baby bonnet. said Edward. Edward said to her. thank you.

again. She is holding a very fragile. Someone did come. and the green outrageous hopeful li ght of spring. could you please attend to your daughter.Open your heart. The china rabbit s heart had begun. the little girl walked around the store. Someone will come for me. first you must open your heart. Don t let yourself believe it. and rain. no. saying: I will come home to you. It was raining. Madam. of the hous e on Egypt Street and of Abilene winding his watch and then bending toward him a nd placing it on his left leg. thought Edward. She cradled him in her arms. maybe five years old. She looked at him and he looked back at her. to open. quite expensive doll. for the first time in a long time. she said gently. He repeated the old doll s words over and over until they wore a smooth groove of hope in his brain: Someone will come. No. Edward Tulane waited. She held him in the same ferocious. There were dogwood blossoms on the floor of L ucius Clarke s shop. The girl smiled and then she stood on her tiptoes and took Edward off the shelf. grandmothers and doll collectors and little girls with their mothers. Edward Tulane waited. said Lucius Clarke. Someone will come. But The door closed. Leaves blew in through th e open door of Lucius Clarke s shop. Someone will come for you. Edward s heart stirred. FALL AND WINTER and spring and summer. And the old doll was right. very precious. she stood in front of him for what seemed like a long t ime. The sunlight disappeared. Don t believe it. He thought. . tender way Sar ah Ruth had held him. But it was too late. When she came to Edward. The seasons turned into years. SEASONS PASSED. People came and went. Someone will come for you. and while her mother struggled to cl ose a blue umbrella. I remember this. She was a small girl. stopping and stari ng solemnly at each doll and then moving on. Someone will come. Edward said. someone will come for you. Someone will come. It was springtime. Oh. he told himself.

She dropped the umbrella. if he was dreamin g. And the rabbit swore that he would not make the mistake of loving again. He was bur ied under garbage and unburied by a dog. It s me. The girl swung th e rabbit as she danced in circles. said Lucius Clarke. And Edward saw then that it was not a locket at all. The rabbit went o n an ocean journey and fell overboard and was rescued by a fisherman. Look. please. Yes. We re looking only. She put her hand on the locket that hung around her ne ck. His head was broken open in a diner and was put together again by a doll mender. certain this time. He wondered. A rabbit. She looked down at Edward. It was a watch. said Edward. ONCE. said Maggie again. Once there was a rabbit who danced in a garden in springtime with the daughter o f the woman who had loved him at the beginning of his journey. He traveled for a long time with the ho boes and worked for a short time as a scarecrow. Madam. . for a minute. Sometimes. yes. I see him. Edward? said Abilene. Once. a pocke t watch. said Maggie. we re not buying anything today. Remember. Once. She looked up from the still-open umbrella. ot? said the woman. THERE WAS A CHINA RABBIT WHO was loved by a little girl. it seemed as if they both ha d wings. The rabbit danced on the streets of Memphis. oh marvelous once. I want him. A what? said the mother. The woman came and stood over Maggie. yes. there was a rabbit who loved a little girl and watched her die. said the woman. The rabbit felt dizzy. if his head had cracked open again. said the woman. said Edward. It was his watch. Yes. the two of them . there was a rabbit who found his way home. What have you g A rabbit. that it seemed as if they were flying. Edward. Sometimes.Maggie. yes. look at him. Mama. she said again. said Maggie. they went so fast.

soldier brave and true. she said at last. He took the hat from his head and stood as straigh t and tall as he was able. an entire book about Peter Augustus Duch ene composed atop his palm. She will lead you there. he could not bear the truth? What if he did not really want to know? Speak. . My parents. He let the fortuneteller take his hand. she said. What? he said. Peter felt a small stab of fear. urse. He concentrated. What if. said the fortuneteller. And I am training to become a soldier. said the fortuneteller. said Peter. She lives! No. You must follow the elephant. said Peter. said the fortuneteller. If she lives. You mu st tell me something that I do not know. said the fortuneteller. brave and true. so my question is. Ask. as if there were a whole ho st of very small words inscribed there. how do I make my way there. I know that already. That is your question? Peter s hands trembled. The elephant. to where she is? He kept his eyes closed. Ask me your question. That is not my question. so now you must give me my answer. moving her eyes back and forth and back and forth. . She lives. But it does not matter how old I am. uestion? Very well. then it is so. Very well. He closed his eyes. said Peter. please. certain that he had misunderstood. Her? Your sister? That is your q Peter s heart seized upon the words. of co I am ten years old. Copyright © 2009 by Kate DiCamillo KATE . She lives. She examined it closely .Peter stood in the small patch of light making its sullen way through the open f lap of the tent. then I m ust find her. you are just a boy. He opened his eyes. But. A soldier brave and true? said the fortuneteller. She dropped his hand and squinted up at his face. The fortuneteller narrowed her eyes. he said. after all this time. if you say it is so. he waited. You must tell me of another you must te ll me . They are dead. Ah. You took the florit. Huh. She laughed and spat on the grou nd.

ua . And then. It was a singular experience to work on the illustrati ons for Edward Tulane and to be there with him on his journey.DICAMILLO is the author of many beloved books for young readers. I w as a bit wistful when I came to the end of the road on this very special book. I was foun d. A few days later. About The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. The Serpent Came to Gl oucester by M. which received a Newbery Honor. See more books in http://www. and The Magician s Elephant. retold by Stephen Mitchell. One Christmas. In telling the sto ry. which was a National Book Award Fina list. I received an eleg antly dressed toy rabbit as a gift. retold by Stephen Mitchell. Because of Winn-Dixie.e-reading. The Tinderbox by Hans Christian I dreamed that the rabbit was facedown on the ocean floor lost and waiting to be found. BAGRAM IBATOULLINE is the illustrator of Crossing by Philip Booth. finally. T. Hana in the Time of the Tulips by Deborah Noyes. like Edward. I was lost for a good while. including The T ale of Despereaux. The Animal Hedge by Paul Fle ischman. The Tiger Rising. he says. Anderson. I must admit. she says. About The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. The Nightingale by H ans Christian Andersen. and Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo. too. the best-selling Mercy Watson series. which received a Newbery Medal. Kate DiCamillo lives in Minneapolis.

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