25 Jul 2006
I first noticed it last Saturday night, when I though it might be sick. Blair had made it a little bed with a pillow and a throw and he had laid down with his little chin on the pillow and let Blair put the blanket over him and she patted him and cooed in his ear and lay down next to him for hours on that cold afternoon. I was worried. This was unusual rabbit behaviour, usually he has the wisdom to run for his life when Blair is in one of her rabbit-squeezing moods.
Later when she was in bed, I was stroking him for quite a while, talking to him. Whenever I stopped, he nudged my hand to make me keep stroking him. He wouldn't drink any water. I really thought he was sick. I was suprised at how worried I was, like, where did these strong feelings come from? Why didn't I notice them brewing?
Then on Wednesday it was even worse. You see, I can't stand leaving Hutch in the hutch. To me an animal should be free. That cage, too small. Rabbits should be digging and frolicking about. Never mind that when I do let him free he just hunkers down and lays there, I don't feel right taking away the animal's choice. Anyway, I've taken to taking him out of his cage and letting him cavort on the front yard. I have a secure gate that he can't escape from, so he's safe from dogs and any delinquent boys who might be wandering past.
Last Wednesday I did this and went inside to do some cleaning (oh yes it's excitment on tap here). I checked on him every so often. At about 1.30pm I couldn't find him. He was nowhere to be seen.
I'm not joking you when I say the panic I had was as bad if not worse than if I had lost one of the kids. I was sick with worry. I was crying. I walked the streets, I knocked on stranger's doors, all teary streaked face with a teatowel over my shoulder. I had visions of him being eated by a dog, freezing cold in the night, starving, thirsty.
The words of the disco knitter< resounded endlessly in my head: You are responsible for what you tame. That poor rabbit, I should have watched him. I should have kept a closer eye on him, I should have left him in the cage where he was safe. I was distraught.
I went to get the kids from school at 3 o clock. I broke the bad news. They were very upset. We walked around the block again.
And then, suddenly, like a magicians trick, a bright white bunny hopped out to see me in the front yard. He had been hiding in the azaleas all day, it was, after all, the coldest day of the year so far.
It was then it hit me. I really really love that rabbit.