Friday, May 6, 2011

Hopping Down the Bunny Trail

When I was in grade school, my friend Doreen's family raised rabbits.  Looking back, I don't know whether they sold them as pets or for food, and I'd really rather not speculate.  The baby bunnies were adorable, though - soft and fluffy and pure white.  My friend's house wasn't quite on my route home from school, but occasionally I would (against strict orders from my mother) detour the one block necessary to visit the latest litter of infant rabbits.  Of course, Mom always knew when I had; at the time I thought it was some kind of mother magic, but I now realize it was because I came home late with milkweed-like puffs of bunny fur clinging to the front of my clothing.

Most of the wild bunnies in our part of South Dakota were short-eared eastern cottontails.  My parents' Sun City neighborhood is home to many desert cottontails and my sister's yard, five miles north, also hosts black-tailed jackrabbits, which are actually hares.  In fact, so many rabbits and hares lived (or at least grazed) on the property when Sue bought it that she named it The House of Many Bunnies.

(Sorry, my cell phone doesn't zoom very far.)
My mother feeds the bunnies in her neighborhood despite the HOA's prohibition in order to minimize rabbit damage to her roses and other plants.  We usually eat at my parents' kitchen table in front of a picture window that looks out onto the back yard where the bunnies are munching on our latest round of kitchen scraps.  By now I can recognize some of them - the aggressive male with the black stripes on his face, the two apparently identical adolescent bunnies who play tag around the yard, the slow-moving pregnant female with the silvery coat, and the itty-bitty bunny (apparently an only child) who lives under the neighbor's cactus plant.

I know that wild rabbits can be mean and flea-infested, but watching them takes me back to those grade school days by the hutches in Doreen's backyard, and I wish I could pick up that cute little baby bunny for one quick cuddle.

"Rabbits have a habit of coming for breakfast and staying for lunch." ~Gerry Krueger

No comments:

Post a Comment