Those Were The Days..Rabbit


by Lura Langenback

© 5/13/02

My childhood was not extradinary in any way that I know. I was just a little kid in a big world. The thing is, I did not know it was a big world at the time. My own world was big enough for me and definitely interesting. Then, all I knew was that I had things to do, places to go, and people to see.

My mother never knew, from day to day, what kind of animal or reptile I might bring home. Yes, I am female and yes, I was normal...for me. There was the baby bunny incident. Some kids in the neighborhood had killed the brothers and sisters of the bunny. A frantic mother ran into the path of a car and was also gone. That left one sorry looking little bundle of jumping rabbit that was around 2 weeks old. Of course, I took it in.

My parents were adamant. 'YOU will take care of this animal yourself! We are not going to get up at night and feed it. You understand?' 'Yes, I understand.' I said. Did I? Of course not. Up at night? Oh you mean like about 10pm. Uh no. The bunny needed to be fed every 4 hrs. or so the vet. said. 'EVERY FOUR HOURS? But I have to go to school tomorrow!' 'Want me to put it out of it's misery then?' 'NOOOOOOOOOOOO!' I was an animal lover.

What it actually meant was that I had to use an eyedropper and give the little guy milk every 4 hrs. When I got home from school, he was always pretty frantic to eat since I had been gone for so long. There was nothing I could do about that. However, the overnight feedings were necessary, for two reasons. The bunny needed the food and because he was driving me crazy! I had him in a box on my table. He found that he could jump high enough to almost get out so he jumped...and jumped....and jumped. Think of fingernails on a cardboard box. Uh huh. I woke up and took care of him.

Then one day, he DID jump out. I had to figure out how to contain him. A screen wire thing worked until he was able to squeeze out of that too. It was around this time that I found out that he was smarter than I was. He hid in my room and I couldn't find him. He could eat out of a bowl so I put one down to lure him out. All day I worried. When I got home, he was sitting on the bed, looking mighty proud of himself, having not only eaten all of what I gave him but also tearing up my room as he went.

Taking him outside was a new adventure every day. I put a leash on him. Trust me here. Rabbits don't want a leash. Period. I had a heck of a time holding him. He was about half grown and ready to run. We had a dog too. She loved to chase rabbits. She wanted to chase mine. It was at this point that I found out that rabbits have a voice. SQUEEEEEK!! Okay, the dog has to go back into the house.

The rabbit slipped out of the leash. He ran the dog around the yard like he was playing tag. Of course, the dog was dumb enough to put up with this behavior. When the rabbit got tired of the game, he came back to me so he could go back inside where it was nice and safe. The dog was hiding because the rabbit charged at her. Even then, my thought was that I had a chicken in a dog suit.

When he was a full sized rabbit, I let him go. Funny thing was that he stayed right in our yard, had families and enjoyed an occasional game of 'keep away' with the dog. How do I know that was the same rabbit? Because he always, every spring, showed us his kids.