rabbit factory

Lima, 1995

The visit was not a success. I could barely look at the caged rabbits as the priest explained the project. Wool and meat, he told me, for the people of this pueblo joven set on a stony hillside.

Wool and meat. A rabbit factory.

I didn't feel like eating. But from the hall, we stepped into the dining room. The brown wood and thick carpet did not match the dust outside. Neither did the stew the housekeeper brought. Gravy smothered the boiled potatoes and carrots. I scraped off the brown liquid and swallowed quickly.

This was not what I had hoped for. No-one sang cantos del pueblo. No bright arpilleras bore witness. There was just a man, longing for brown stew, and seeking ways to 'feed his flock.'