Late one evening, a few days before Easter, my brother Jim drove the last stretch of his ride home from work toward the house where we grew up on Morris Road in Signal. Out of the field to the side of the electric pole that marks about half the distance we used to walk from the school bus stop, a large white rabbit jumped onto the side of the road. Jim stopped his truck to get out, picked up the rabbit after finding it was tame, and took it home.
After a little checking with neighbors who made no claims that it was a local pet, he could afford to become attached. He called me and announced that he’d found my rabbit. I’ve wanted a pet rabbit for several years. I wanted to wait for our other critters to die off before
taking on another one. Now, all the gerbils, guinea pigs and mice have passed on.
I found a used cage and water bottle for the rabbit, packed up our leftover bale of wood chip bedding, and headed to the farm with my family looking forward to seeing the rabbit more than the Easter ham.
It was good sized, weighing just over five pounds. It was eating well; Jim had been keeping it in one of his larger pet carriers. It seemed to like the bright, airy cage for a change.
Had he named it? He was considering Morty – that had been our mouse’s name. How about Egbert? Bert the bunny sounded good. Was he sure it’s a male? He lifted up the soft, white puff ball, powerful hind legs bucked rebelliously, and Jim soon announced, “It’s a girl.”
How about Eglantine like the witch in Bednobs and Broomsticks who changed people into white rabbits? We couldn’t think of a cute nickname for it. How about Petula or Petunia? Or Alice (as in wonderland)? We didn’t decide.
I did decide, however, that I wasn’t going to encourage my taking her home. She lent a special touch to the holiday as we marveled at her whiskered, chewing face with alert, red eyes and twitching pink nose and we petted her soft fur. But her hind-kickers (sharp toenails included) gave Jim a good pummel that made him wince with pain. I also noticed how rapidly the poopy pellets piled up in the new, clean quarters.
Since Jim is already fond of her, I think he’d better keep our
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