MY BUNNY – A STORY
by Minnie Ritter.
It’s all my fault, really. I asked for a sliver rabbit pendant for my birthday. You know, the kind that dangles from your bracelet and makes you feel ten times sweeter than your classmates? I told my mom it had to be genuine silver, pure through and through; and she said it was… and had papers to prove it.
You see, my mother is always swayed by a bargain. Orange clearance stickers draw her like magnets. She’ll spend $3 in gas to save ten cents in canned peas. The silver rabbit pendant at the mall was $40. The pedigreed silver rabbits in the van outside were 15. Done deal, I got a silver rabbit for my birthday — the snorting, scratching, hungry kind– and she’s such a charm.
Her name’s Doreen. I’ll have you know that I did not choose that name, she came with it. And I strongly suspect that my mother picked it rather than the breeder, for Mom’s always saying she would have named my little brother Doreen if he had been a girl. What-evah. I met Doreen on my thirteenth birthday, and though that was only eight months ago, I feel like I’m at least 22 now: she’s making me age quickly.
I keep Doreen in a big wire cage. It makes her look like she’s in a prison, and that is my one consolation amidst the trials she brings me. Problem is, she seems to like her lonely cell. She resents any intrusion. I need only to lay my finger on the door, and a deep rumble sounds from the back of the cage like a grizzly bear is growling there. If I reach my hand toward her, she swats it and runs to the opposite corner of the cage. If I follow her with my hand, she’ll swat it again run back to where she was before. Right and left; there and back; we do this for ten minutes twice a week, and I think it’s good for her arteries, because it’s the only form of exercise she gets.
Left to herself, she just sits. In a lump. In the corner. And growls. I put her on a leash, and she sat. I put her in a pen, and she just sat. I put her on the show table and the judge called her “well behaved” — after he assured himself that she wasn’t shot and stuffed. And she eats. Eats like my brother on Thanksgiving. How any living thing can eat so much and move so little, is the greatest mystery I’ve met. I kissed my allowance g’bye the day I met Doreen.
And nobody wants her. I gave her to a 4-H’er, and in a week I got her back. I snuck her on an airplane bound for Australia, and they canceled the flight. I mixed d-con with her feed and she ate it… and kept on living. I confess, that scared me so much I won’t try it again. I let her loose in a sunny glade, full of flowers where I thought she could run free and be happy. Instead she climbed up my pants. So I took her home, and put her back in her cage, and gave her more food. And now I sit sometimes and watch her eat, and dream of those dear bygone days of my youth when I never knew the smell of alfalfa, and “Doreen” only meant my little brother if he was a girl.
by the way– parts of this are fiction. Only parts. It’s based on a real Silver named Doreen.