This morning, I have read and re-read the book Runaway Bunny to the girls. They love it. I love it too. It's the sweet story about a baby bunny who wants to run away and his mother vows to follow him and take care of him no matter where he goes. It's precious. And as the girls sat, holding their stuffed bunnies, listening to the story for the third time this morning and begging for real bunnies, I was reminded of a childhood bunny story of my own.
I have no recollection of wanting them or getting them, but somehow, my brother, Bo and I ended up with a couple of pet bunnies. We kept them in a hutch in the backyard and I vaguely remember feeding them once or twice and I distinctly remember being told to clean out the cage. Yuck.
As with all of our childhood pet endeavors, we tired quickly of the constant feeding and care (probably once a day at best) of the bunnies. But we persevered. Until the day Dad came in and said that we were going on vacation. But only if we could find someone to take care of the bunnies while we were gone.
We racked our brains and couldn't come up with a single soul to come over every day while we were gone and feed these bunnies. Nevermind that we probably never actually tried asking anyone. And that we probably gave it about 2 minutes of thought before we hatched an even better plan.
Since no one would come help us (even though we never asked) but we really wanted to go on this vacation (I believe this was Worlds of Fun in Kansas City), we had to take matters into our own hands. There was only one way to handle this situation. We'd have to let the bunnies go. I doubt we considered the fact that these 15-pound, tame bunnies would only last about 2 seconds in the woods behind our house before a dog or coyote snatched them up for supper. I'm pretty sure we thought they'd just blend in with the other wild bunnies who fled in and out of the neighborhood bushes from time to time. Although most of those bunnies were small and gray and our bunnies were huge with fluffy black and white fur, we just knew they'd either become part of the scenery or they'd find a great hideaway in the woods.
Actually, I'm probably giving us too much credit. I doubt we thought beyond "If we are going to have Worlds of Fun, we gotta lose the bunnies." So we did.
And for a while afterward, we'd see those huge bunnies munching lazily on our neighbor's flowers, or ambling slowly from yard to yard. I never once saw them scurry or dart in and out of bushes. And then, one day we didn't see them anymore. I have no idea what happened to them. But I know this: Their blood is on our hands.
Lord (and PETA members), please forgive me. I promise to spend the rest of my life being kind to all wild bunnies and allowing them to eat my flowers and dig in my dirt any old time they want.