The Funny Bunny!
July 1993, a few months after my Dad had “Gone West” my mother was watering the flowers Pop had planted along the driveway. Mom was really missing Pic as this was always his chore. Planting and watering. The following is in Mom’s own words:
“When I turned back to the house a little brown bunny with a white puff of a tail was was standing on his hind legs peeking in the screen door. When I said “Where did you come from?” he didn’t answer, but hopped into the garage, checked out the car, and Pic’s workbench. Then he followed me into the back yard. He looked like a wild cottontail, but he acted so tame I was sure he was someone’s pet. So, I closed the gate and began a week long search to find his home. I sat in my favorite patio chair. The bunny hopped into my lap. I stroked his fur and became mesmerized with the experience.
No one in the neighborhood knew him, there were no ads in the paper or on the supermarket bulletin boards. He was friendly to family and friends who came to call.
The bunny had been here a week or so when my daughter, MM, phoned to say a Navajo friend had told her that in Indian culture, it is believed the spirit of a loved one returns in animal form. We were laughing about it when I looked out the patio door and there was the bunny sitting in Pic’s chair!”
Later Mom gave her Arcadia High School group and update: “The little wild cottontail that showed up not long after Pic died is still here! He is fat and happy but his luxurious brown coat exhibits a tinge of grey. He leads a solitary existence but seems to enjoy visitors making a fuss over him. He especially likes his nose rubbed.
His current nemesis is a big old black and brown cat coming over the wall to stalk him.
He does a lot of un-bunny things – like coming into the kitchen for breakfast, napping on the patio furniture (but only the pieces with cushions) and he likes my rocking chair. He stands up with front paws on the back to make it rock!
He eats rabbit pellets if there is nothing else around, but he prefers oats, bread, apples, carrots, celery tops, and he’s mad about baked potato skins, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe. Contrary to Peter Rabbit and Farmer MacGregor, he does not eat lettuce or cabbage as those things would make him sick. A funny bunny indeed!
He got out of the yard once – went directly to the Johnson’s home. Ralph Johnson was Pic’s best friend for 60 years, so I guess that shouldn’t have surprised us.
I think he misses my granddaughter, Kelly, who lived with me for a year. He would still like to sample the vines and plants she put in, but she protected them with chicken wire fencing. He got through it just once, and when she lifted him out he growled just like a dog. Other than that (and thumping his hind legs when he sees the cat) he is quiet and undemanding.
I’m sure you wan to hear all this stuff because when friends greet me, they don’t say “How are YOU?” they say “How is your bunny?”
Postscript: The bunny stayed with Mom five years. The bunny seemed to grow lethargic and we could feel lumps under his fur. I took him to the vet who said he had an aggressive cancer. That is what ended life for Pic and ended life for the Funny Bunny.
Mom live to achieve her goal of living longer than her mother. My grandmother, Josie, died on her 92nd birthday. Mom lived to be 94 and could claim a life well lived. 1913 – 2008. As I write this I need a Kleenex…