Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Another Bunny Story

This is another story involving a bunny rabbit.

My kids were always begging for pets when they were growing up. As a single parent I resisted their relentless nagging though because I had a hard enough time just keeping up with their needs and I was wise enough to know that after the novelty of a pet wore off I would be the one stuck with providing the pet care. I knew myself well enough to know that it would be easier just to do the feeding, walking, letting out myself than to insist that my kids do it . . . follow through on the chores with them has always been difficult for me to manage.

Over the course of time, we did end up with some small pets; the usual gold fish or two (if they count), Janet and Michael Jackson (the parakeets), Penny and Nickel (the hedgehogs that ended up making small change), a newt (lizard type thing that we brought back from Florida one year), a few gerbils, a scorpion and a bunny (whose name I can no longer remember.)

I can't remember why I finally gave in and let K. have the bunny, but I did. True to course, it started out small and cute and furry and soft but in no time flat that bunny grew big and fat and mean. I would grow big and fat and mean too if I were kept in a cage all day. I mean, I really don't blame the poor thing. We would let it out loose once in a while but that darn thing got pretty good at eluding our efforts to recapture it when it was time to put it back into it's cage. Then, it just got too stinky to keep in the house.

We had a very large rabbit hutch that had been given to us. We kept it outside up against the backside of the house. I felt better when we moved the bunny there in the fall. After all, the cage was bigger and the bunny could enjoy the fall breezes and fresh outdoor air.

The problem was that since the bunny was out of sight, it was sort of out of mind. I reminded K. on a daily basis to go and feed it but I'm sure there were times when she missed a feeding. As fall turned to winter, I wondered if the bunny could withstand the Michigan snow and cold but from all accounts I was told that it could. Sometimes I would go out and feed that poor bunny instead of K. and it seemed to be thriving despite the winter weather. As a matter of fact that rabbit (by now bunny seems too diminuative of a term to use on it) seemed to have not only grown a thick furry winter coat, but it looked like it had put on layers of fat to keep warm as well. The gosh darn thing almost looked like it had grown as big as a buddah bunny. It really had just grown huge and wasn't the least bit cute anymore.

I have to say that my conscience pricked me when I would go out to feed that thing and quickly open the hutch door, throw in the food, make sure the water was fresh and lock the door shut. All the while that rabbit, almost motionless, would follow me with it's small beady red eyes. It glared at me as if to say; "Yeah, and you aren't stuck in a cage freezing your arse off. You get to go inside where it is warm and cozy and there are fresh baked cookies." As I would turn my back I could almost feel those evil red eyes burning into my back. Well, I did get to go inside where it was warm and cozy but the fresh baked cookies was a stretch.

One particularly windy and freezing cold night, K. had gone to some school event or other, it was getting late and I thought I better go out and feed the bunny while I was thinking of it as I knew she had not done it the night before. I grabbed my jacket, put up the hood and ventured out back against the elements. As I approached the hutch, true to from, the rabbit was glaring at me in a motionless state. I opened the door to put the food in. THUNK! The rabbit fell completly over. The old bloated furry nasty beady eyed fluffy had frozen to death.

I hurridly shut the hutch and out of force of habit locked it too. I turned and ran back into the house feeling totally remorseful about that poor thing for about a second and feeling totally grossed out by it. Then the practical side of parenting kicked in. Now what was I going to do with that big old dead rabbit body? Save it for spring so K. could give it a proper burial? I think not. The next day happened to be trash pick-up day. I put my jacket back on, grabbed a couple of trash bags and went back out to the hutch. Making sure not to touch the carcass, I used one trash bag to scoop up the animal and the other to deposit it in. Then I lugged that heavy bag to the waste container and put it out on the curb for pick up. My most vivid recollection of that experience was the weight of that dead bunny. It was surprisingly heavy.

Needless to say, a couple of days went by before K. inquired about feeding the bunny and I had to gently inform her that it had passed away. I can't recall if I was truthful about it's disposal but I'm guessing that I sugar coated it in some way to soften the blow.

And that my freinds is the tale of our bunny. Please don't sic (sp?) the animal rights activists on me. The demise of the rabbit was not intentional but let this be a lesson to all of you parents out there who think it would be nice to get your child a bunny for a pet. Think twice.


Fned said...

I seem to recall at one point we also had a white pet bunny when I was kid. As much as I rack my brains all I can remember of it are 2 images: Those awful red eyes (the instant I saw them, they took away all meaning of "cute and fluffy" for me) and a single souvenir of seeing it hop around our back court yard....

I don't have any idea what happened to it though.... guess it ended up in a black plastic trash bag at some point as well? :s


Ritamae said...


So we agree then that bunnies are better left to the wild??? From afar you can't see the red eyes and they look so carefree and happy hopping around!!

Rachel said...

One summer my mom agreed to babysit my Grandpa's pet bunny (yeah...I don't know why a grown man had a bunny, either) and so we had taken the bunny---in it's cage---outside for an airing, my mom forgot to move it out of the sun and it died of heat exhaustion. My mom freaked out because my Grandpa was a very strict and non-understanding man so she ended up buying a lookalike rabbit. It didn't work but the upside was he never asked us to babysit another pet again. And for some odd reason we could never talk my mom into buying us a pet rabbit either.