Friday, 23 December 2011

BUNNIES AND KIDS DON'T MIX WELL.

Unless a person is knowledgeable and willing to take care of an animal of any sort, never give one as a gift. I know this sounds harsh but it's for the creature's own well-being that I make this statement. Animals aren't toys but creatures with feelings and emotions. Rabbits are especially sensitive to noise and commotion. A pet given to somebody on a whim often ends up at a shelter or dead.

In When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies), I wrote of the time when my sister, Diane, visited me with her two children. Like rabbits, I likewise dread noise and commotion. To my great relief, Logan and Linda behaved themselves. Here's how the visit went.

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Two days before Christmas, Diane and her children visited us. Harry was the first to greet them. He let Linda and Logan pet him and didn't seem too concerned. I was glad because he had hidden in the past whenever company stopped by.

Neutrino was the next rabbit they met. As we sat in the living room, he went up and sniffed the new humans in his domain.

"What's that stuff on his whiskers?" Logan asked.

I told him that Neutrino had something wrong with his nose and that it made him sneeze a lot.

Logan was full of questions.

"How come his fur is brown on his neck?"

"That's just the way it is," Diane explained. "Different breeds of rabbits have different colours of fur?just like cows."

"Does he drink all that?" Logan asked, pointing to two water bottles.

"That's to keep the tunnel still," I informed him. "Poor Neutrino doesn't like it when it keeps rolling away on him."

Then Logan wanted to know how to pick up a rabbit.

Because he was leery of small animals, I demonstrated with Neutrino by placing my hands under the bunny's chest and around his knees. Then I hugged his furry body close to my chest, so he couldn't wriggle.

"I wanna see him hop," Logan demanded.

I was tempted to tell him that would be cruel, but then Diane said, "Leave him alone. He'll hop if he wants to."

She took a few photos of us all, then we went to see Gideon.

"Look at his weird red eyeball!? Logan blurted, when he saw the bunny in my bedroom doorway.

Diane explained that some animals had red eyes and were called albinos.

As Logan petted Gideon's head, the bunny nervously pulled his ears together.

"How come he keeps doing that?" Logan wanted to know.

"Gideon's just nervous," I explained. "He's never met you before. That's why he's worried."

As Diane and her children were getting ready to leave, Linda admired my china cupboard full of bunny teapots and other things.

"You sure must love rabbits," she commented.

I wanted to explain to her how much those bunnies meant to me, but Diane needed to leave right away. I'm sure my three lads felt relieved once the company had left. Though I missed talking to Diane about the old days when we were kids, I breathed a sigh of relief as I made lunch and petted my lads.

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When a Man Loves a Rabbit is filled with many more fascinating stories of life with house bunnies. These vignettes range from the tragic to the hilarious. You're also welcome to contact me directly for more information.