Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Rabbit In The Attic

The Lad went off to Maine to go snow-boarding last night, giving me endless opportunities for maternal catastrophizing (mutilating traffic and snow board accidents, and countless variations on gangrenous frostbite and asystolic hypothermia.) He left me in charge of the Bunny.

There's a rabbit in the attic. That's where the Lad lives. He gave me instructions to supply it with bunny crunchies, water and hay. Lettuce. Apparantly it likes raisins. What else it likes is anybody's guess. I don't have a lot of experience with bunnies. I know what to expect from kitties. Even gerbils. But bunnies are ciphers.

The Lad's caring for the bunny for a friend who's gone off to a lagomorph-unfriendly school. There was a hamster, too. Was. RIP.

So the Lad bought a roll of green plastic-coated wire and actually fenced off a decent space for the creature and its hay, its cages and its other rabbity paraphenalia. An uncharacteristically 4-H kind of project for my Lad, sort of touching really. My son the farmer.

I went into the pen with the bunny, thinking it might want company. What do I know ? I tried to remember what the Lad had told me about bunnies. They gnaw electrical cords. They eat their droppings. Hi bun bun, I said, and sat down on the carpet amidst scattered pelletty things. Probably rabbit shit. Yum.

It's a medium sized bunny, very round, with floppy bunny ears. Gender undetermined. It's jet black. Completely. With big black liquid eyes. And, gosh darn if the thing doesn't hop. It's apparantly a very classic, standard issue bunny in every respect -- hop, ears, even a little nubbin of a tail.

It hopped right up to me and started snorting and whapping at me with its front paws. Whapwhapwhapwhapwhapwhap.

Friendly ? Hostile ? Hungry ? Horny ? Beats me.

But soft ! Damn ! This bunny is the softest thing I've ever felt. Amazingly soft. It let me stroke it; did it like being stroked ? Well, it didn't purr. But I liked stroking it.

So I gave it its night time scoop of bunny chow, closed the pen, and left. It looked lonely and small sitting there on its expanse of ugly blue rug, in its green pen, in the Lad's attic as the wind howled outside. I thought of my Lad, probably being devoured by a black bear or maybe a mountain lion. Or a pack of wolves. In an avalanche. Are there volcanos in Maine ?

And what's the incubation period of Tularemia ?

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