“Ralph ‘n Robbie Wabbit” ‘n Pal Stephen at The Farm c1960…

“Ralph ” and young Steve , Sandstone MN c1960
Sis Laura and Ralph, Sandstone MN c1960…
“Robbie Wabbit ” at The Farm

“Yes, and I remember you bringing dead Ralph, all flat and frozen, into the kitchen while mom and Dad started yelling at you. I went upstairs to my bed to hide,” Laura cried when I asked her about this time so long ago…

Ralph was my first, very first furry loved one. He was my first real pal. We loved hanging out in the woods with Robbie Wabbit…

But when Downtown Willie Wabbit came by, like he always did, things turned bad. “Two is company, three is a crowd,” my Uncle Harry would say at the farm…

While Robbie Wabbit played with Ralph, Downtown Willie Wabbit would always pick a fight with Robbie Wabbit. Ralph chased Downtown Willie Wabbit away, because he wanted to play with Robbie Wabbit and me…

Ralph ‘n me were pals. I didn’t have any close pals back then except for Ralph. He loved to swim in Skunk Lake near the farm, and chase after ducks in the pond…

Ralph ‘n me hiked down to the Kettle River too. Robbie Wabbit always came with us. We loved to swim in the river. Robbie Wabbit waited for us, hiding in the bushes nearby…

When we were swimming in the river near the dam, Downtown Willie Wabbit came by looking to pick a fight with Robbie Wabbit…

“Downtown Willie Wabbit!”

But Ralph saw Downtown Willie Wabbit right away. He swam to shore and chased him away. His friend Robbie Wabbit was safe again…

Ralph was like that. He was a loving and kind friend. He kept me safe too. When I was lonely and scared, he was always with me when no one else was there for me…

Ralph ‘n me had to stay in mostly when it was cold, very cold in the winter. We didn’t like the cold weather in the winter on the farm…

One night, a very cold night at the farm, I let Ralph out to go pee and poop by himself. I was scared to go out at night in the below zero weather. My mom wouldn’t let me anyway…

While calling out for Ralph to come home, I heard a big truck drive by on the highway next to the farm. I called for Ralph again and again but he never came…

I was so scared that night and couldn’t stop thinking about Ralph. I thought the worst had happened. I knew it was too cold for him to survive in the cold, ohhh… so cold cold it was back then…

The next early morning, I went looking for Ralph. I was heartbroken when I found my dear pal frozen dead next to the highway…

I knew then, it was a terrible mistake to let Ralph out the night before alone. I just knew in my heart and soul it was wrong to let him out at night in the cold…

To this day, I grieve for Ralph. I didn’t know about the Rainbow Bridge back then. I know now, though…

I can heal now. For I now know, Ralph ‘n me are still pals. He is safe and happy, waiting all this time to meet him and Robbie Wabbit on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

Ralph is still chasing Downtown Willie Wabbit away too. He keeps Robbie Wabbit safe, so we can play in Heaven together, again…

I miss Ralph, my pal, and still do. But now, we heal together, Ralph ‘n me. We’ll play again someday, when we meet again on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan.