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chapter i_The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

 ONCE, IN A HOUSE ON EGYPT STREET, ther2lived a rabbit who was made almost entirel?

of china. He had china arms and china legs%china paws and a china head, a china tors;and a china nose. His arms and legs wer2jointed and joined by wire so that his chin8elbows and china knees could be bent, givinChim much freedom of movement.

His ears were made of real rabbit fur, andbeneath the fur, there were strong, bendabl2wires, which allowed the ears to be arrange7into poses that reflected the rabbit’s mood Ijaunty, tired, full of ennui. His tail, too, wa<made of real rabbit fur and was fluffy and sof0and well shaped.

The rabbit’s name was Edward Tulane%and he was tall. He measured almost three fee0from the tip of his ears to the tip of his feetJhis eyes were painted a penetrating andintelligent blue.

In all, Edward Tulane felt himself to be anexceptional specimen. Only his whiskers gav2him pause. They were long and elegant (asthey should be), but they were of uncertainorigin. Edward felt quite strongly that theywere not the whiskers of a rabbit. Whom th2whiskers had belonged to initially — whatunsavory animal — was a question thatEdward could not bear to consider for toolong. And so he did not. He preferred, as arule, not to think unpleasant thoughts.

Edward’s mistress was a ten-year-old%dark-haired girl named Abilene Tulane, wh;thought almost as highly of Edward as Edwar7thought of himself. Each morning after shedressed herself for school, Abilene dressedEdward.

The china rabbit was in possession of a>

extraordinary wardrobe composed ofhandmade silk suits, custom shoes fashione7from the finest leather and designedspecifically for his rabbit feet, and a wide arra?

of hats equipped with holes so that they coul7easily fit over Edward’s large and expressiv2ears. Each pair of well-cut pants had a smal4pocket for Edward’s gold pocket watch.

Abilene wound this watch for him eachmorning.

“Now, Edward,” she said to him after sh2was done winding the watch, “when the biChand is on the twelve and the little hand is o>

the three, I will come home to you.”

She placed Edward on a chair in th2dining room and positioned the chair so tha0Edward was looking out the window andcould see the path that led up to the Tulan2front door. Abilene balanced the watch on hi<left leg. She kissed the tips of his ears, andthen she left and Edward spent the day starinCout at Egypt Street, listening to the tick of hi<watch and waiting.

Of all the seasons of the year, the rabbi0most preferred winter, for the sun set earlythen and the dining-room windows becamedark and Edward could see his own reflectio>

in the glass. And what a reflection it was! Wha0an elegant figure he cut! Edward never cease7to be amazed at his own fineness.

In the evening, Edward sat at the diningsroom table with the other members of theTulane family: Abilene; her mother and fatherJand Abilene’s grandmother, who was calle7Pellegrina. True, Edward’s ears barely cleare7the tabletop, and true also, he spent theduration of the meal staring straight ahead a0nothing but the bright and blinding white o@the tablecloth. But he was there, a rabbit at th2table.

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