diamond in the rough
I had just bought Crystal some lunch and we were sitting on the sidewalk downtown, near a small storefront. More than a dozen homeless people were hanging out in that area that afternoon; on the curb, next to the building in which the store was located, in the alley, at the front, and along the stairs up to the door of the shop,
A young man(dressed as a woman o_o) walking a puppy on a ratty leash approached Crystal and myself and confided in her that another woman, named Kathy, who was sitting only a few feet away from us, had been seen carrying a white angora rabbit in the bottom of a milk crate, with clothing piled on top of it.
She had been trying to feed it some kind of white powder and mouthwash. Someone had tried to take the animal away from her, but she had run away, and now they did not know where she had put the rabbit.
The milk crate that the rabbit had first been seen in had been emptied by a concerned friend, and all Kathy carried with her was a clear plastic bag and her red makeup box that held a few personal belongings.
Quite a few people were concerned for the small animal's health, and thought she might have hidden the rabbit somewhere.
We watched as Kathy called her parents on a nearby payphone, regarding something she had left with them. Someone approached her, and she snatched her red makeup box away.
Crystal looked up at the man who had informed her about the situation, and declared that the rabbit was in the makeup box. I sort of trailed behind her as she approached a woman standing in the doorway of the shop, who was a friend of the storeowner, and briefly spoke with her.
A few people were shouting at this point, telling Kathy to let the rabbit out, but no one was sure how she would react if they tried to take it away from her.
Crystal Walked boldly up to her and grabbed the box out of her hands and walked away, while Kathy was stuck on the phone.
Someone cheered, and Crystal, still moving away from Kathy, was trying to unlock the latch on the small plastic makeup box. A group of six people huddled around and they all tried together to pry open the locked box.
When the plastic latch finally broke off and the lid was opened, everyone gasped.
Suddenly, instead of a cold unfeeling plastic container carrying hairbrushes and broken lipsticks, was an innocent and suffering animal that was footsteps away from freedom.
This scenario is vivid in my mind:
A community of arms worked together to carefully lift a yellow-stained, miserable looking angora rabbit up into the air, above the huddled group of people, like a little gift from God.
In a group stretching from the curb to the stairs, they were motioning their arms supportively as it was passed carefully up the shop doorway, where the woman carried it hurriedly inside, and phoned the police and humane society.
Once that rabbit was safely inside, Crystal turned around and chucked the makeup box at Kathy, and everyone moved off so there wouldn't be a scene about loitering.
Crystal has made a lot of stupid choices in her life, but she does understand and respect and love animals, and will actively fight for their proper treatment and protection, and for that, i think she's a hero.
The woman in question, Kathy, is mentally retarded, and i do not blame her for her irresponsible actions, but rather the family and community that failed to assist her in her learning and understanding, and the people who supplied her with the rabbit.