Growing up the only pets I ever had were parakeets. Not that I didn’t love my parakeets (one in particular whose name was Bob was easily the coolest parakeet ever to be domesticated) but they sorely lacked in the cuddly, sleep-at-the-foot-of-your-bed, department. I longed for a hug-able furry companion, going out of my way to pet kitties, daydreaming about how I’d hide a $4 hamster from my parents, and chasing bunnies in town parks, eternally hopeful some day one would let me pet it instead of hopping away.
Leave it to Bumblefuck to make your childhood dreams come true.
It was a day off and I had done very little other than making breakfast which was rather nice, but at the hour of 2pm I said to myself DO SOMETHING. Not having a car, my options painfully limited, I decided to go for a run. Decked out in running clothes that I’d worn the day before, a little smelly but not enough to deem unwearable, my plan was to run to the lake (maybe jump in it) and back.
Determined though I was, ipod in hand, a spring in my step, this run never happened. It was the only time all summer I set out to run and failed -yes I’m pretty proud with consistency of my running all summer. There are somethings that make it impossible to achieve a goal. A sprained ankle, an unexpected thunderstorm, or finding a bunny on the side of the road.
He was a tiny little bundle of fluff which I almost didn’t see as I was not wearing my contacts. The only reason he caught my eye was because he made an attempt to run away and completely failed. His back legs flopped awkwardly in back of him making his escape impossible. I stared at the little guy, wondering if he was just too tiny to move on his own yet or is there was something wrong with him. I got closer, put out my hand, and was shocked to be able to touch him. Pet him. Pick him up and put him in the baseball cap I was wearing. I carried him to the kitchen- if you’re looking for someone in the woods, the best place to find them is the Actors’ Kitchen- hoping to find someone who would have an idea of how to help the little guy.
No one knew. The only lead I got was that a Lady in Waiting was great with animals, but she had gone wine tasting that day. So we put my little bunny in a shoe box, covered the bottom with grass, and tried to get him to drink water. He wasn’t having any of it. Wasn’t eating any grass. Not even chopped up apple, which rabbits are supposed to love (at least according to my friend who has them). Time ticked by, me just hanging out with my tiny bunny, watching him get weaker and weaker.
He was still alive when the Gallant Beggar and Street Urchin (the ones I went to the bank with) showed up. I thought about hiding the box from them, I had already had a bunny experience with the two of them a few weeks before, that involved the running over of a bunny in a fast moving car. The reaction of the driver had been extreme (tears were shed), and I was staring at my weak little bunny worrying his fate would soon be not much different.
I didn’t hide the box from them. The Street Urchin promptly names my bunny Chuckles, I know this will not end well. Before I knew it, phone calls had been made, a near by animal wildlife center found. We jumped in the car, peering closely at Bunny all the while “He’s still breathing! Oh I hope we make it.”
We pull up to the address we were given over the phone. It is an abandoned yard surrounded by a barbed wire fence. It looks sketchy as hell, we wait nervously for our contact to come meet us. After enough time so that I’m feeling extremely uncomfortable, a huge Lincoln comes driving out of no where. “So you’re the guys with the bunny?” Yep. Here he is. “Oh wow. He’s really small for this time of year. Yeah, usually when their like this, you find maggot eggs on their legs. Mother Nature’s way of preparing for carcass clean up.” I stare at her in horror. Maggots are on my bunny? Waiting for the second he dies so they can dig in? “Ah yep, here they are,” she says, manhandling my bunny, stretching his legs apart and pointing at tiny white ovals on his legs. Hello, I now feel sick. “Well, thanks for bringing him in.” With that she leaves, taking Chuckles with her.
The three of us look at each other. We all know full well where Chuckles is on his way to. But we didn’t have to see it happen, and so we can pretend. “He’s in good hands now.” “Yep, he’ll make a miraculous recovery and live a happy life.” “We saved him yay us.” Next time I see a bunny on the side of the road, I’ll let him be. On the plus side, I know my little guy is now in greener pastures.