Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The Never-Ending Dilemma of Chip
Poor Chip. Every since he came to Chez Erb over two years ago, he has been trying to find a way to fit in with everyone. Phillip, the elder statesman of the rabbits, chases him away even when Chip tries to say Hi. Cherry Bugg is his closest friend but she more tolerates him than anything else. They can exist in the same back yard or even the same room but she commands the territory and then he must run away. Even his sisters, Ruby Jane and Root Beer Float, don't command him the respect he desires. Root Beer Float, who used to be at the bottom of the rabbit pecking order, found a new rabbit to antagonize in the oft-innocent Chip. So she would chase him all around the back yard to remind him of that. Ruby Jane is much more understanding of him but she still doesn't talk to Chip when the other rabbits are around. It just isn't cool. And that's the problem with Chip. He's the rabbit who thinks he's a man but is really a boy. And he's just not that cool according to the other rabbits.
Oddly enough, Chip would remind the well-read person of the narrator in James Joyce's short story "Araby." The narrator reminisces about his youth and this girl he thought he loved. He once thought he was a man but realized at the very end of the story that he truly was still a child. Oh, what a slap that epiphany was for that Irish lad and how it must feel for Chip as well.
Chip does serve one important purpose in the Erb family though that the other rabbits do not: he is Mary Jane's body guard. When she cries, Chip will come hopping in to see what's the matter. And in the middle of the night, he sneaks into Mary Jane's room and will sit about two feet away from her crib and keep watch. It's great for Mary Jane to have a guardian because he will chase away all the bad monsters. She can sleep more easily at night with that valiant duty of his. Never mind that sometimes she awakens in the night and Mister John or Miss Jill accidentally kick him as they stagger through the darkness to get to Mary Jane's crib.
For his service to Mary Jane, that might make Chip a real man. Just don't tell the other rabbits that; they might get jealous.