Just a Bunny
By Katrina Elliott
Caprock High School
How can the memory of you tug so insistently at my heart?
"Hey, honey, look what I found!" My husband was annoyingly interrupting
my visit with the miniature cinnamon lops in the display window. In his
hands, there you were - just a plain old, black and white bunny. Nothing
special. Oh, well. My husband was smitten. Your energetic, exuberant
affection showed that you had known all along that you would be going home
You were transported in a deli-style handled box. You made yourself
promptly at home -by terrorizing the cat by bounding up to make friends- by
sampling his food, right under his nose, from his bowl- eager to try the
You looked so goofy: Dressed in a glossy tuxedo, you had an
abbreviated mustasche dangling crazily over your left upper lip. Tiny - so small that you fit in
my own child-sized hand - you undauntedly scaled the towering, slick wall of your
food bowl and settled inside to dine.
Chaplin - that's what we would call you - perfect!
Snacks were baby-sized carrots which protruded from your mouth and
made you look like Groucho Marx with an orange cigar. You stole raisins from our
lips and perched on the arm of the sofa, helping yourself to sips of my raspberry
tea. Books and magazines were favorites, you stamped your approval with bunny chomp
marks on their edges.
"Neutered bunnies have fewer health problems", said the gurus at
the House Rabbit Society. So - we took our adorable six month old baby bunny boy for
"the operation." Imagine our surprise when we fetched you from the vet - a sixth
month old, newly 'spayed' bunny girl.
Did that mean we should call you Chap-LYNN?
We cried and cringed when your overly fasitidious grooming
caused you to come unsewn - your bright red stuffing oozing from your tender wounded
Stifling our queasiness, we scooped you up and returned to the vet, shaken.
This time you emerged sporting a bright blue stretchy bandage that made you look like
a sumo wrestler, or a fluffy ballerina whose blue tutu was sizes too small.
A blind date was your first date - we met him at the fair.
You shamelessly tackled him and kissed him all over his brown-brindle haired body. What a
contrast - you in your elegant tuxedo, and your bunny beau Burton in his
cotton-tailed-colored duds. Scrunched together for hours, you exchanged intermittent drowsy
kisses and kept each other's coats perfectly groomed.
We never tired of watching the two of you demonstrating your
joy and love - for us, for each other, for life. You practiced uninhibited triple axels,
twirling and clicking your heels in mid-air. Curious about everything, you had an
endearing way of planting your back feet and telescoping your bodies as far as they
could stretch to get the best view, but always retaining the option to flee if what you
were investigating became too surprising. You played games of "I'm gonna
get you', 'leap frog' and 'let's race'. Played in caves formed from human knees, 'hide and
seek', could entertain you for hours. You flattered us with contented flops on your
sides- you did that a lot and it made us so glad.
This morning, you didn't pop up to meet me. The first time in
seven quick years. You didn't rush to wash the sleep from my eyes, or imperiously bump my hand
for more petting. You only lay still, watching me, kissing my hand as I reached in
to lift you. Your legs collapsed beneath you as I placed you gently on the
We ran to the vet, but you died in my arms - just inside the
waiting room door.
"There's been a death in the family," I call my school to
report. "I won't be coming in today." But I don't explain. They might
think that you were just a bunny - a plain, old, black and white bunny.