Two weeks ago, while I was taking care of my nephew at his house, I got a call from my mom. She said there was the cutest bunny running around the neighborhood. She described the light brown with reddish tint of the fur. She thought he was someone's easter bunny escaped, or dumped. She told us he was running around the palm tree in the neighbor's yard. She had already asked many neighbors if
|Carmul, iphone 6/13|
I was tickled by the story but perplexed as to why she had called to tell us about it. Finally, I asked her point blank why she was telling me the story. She wanted me to come over and catch it. She said it as if it was the easiest thing in the world to do it.
I won't lie, I wanted to. I would have tried if I wasn't pledged to go to meditation and my niece was already on her way over to pick up my nephew.
When I got ready to drop off my nephew at school the next morning, he wanted to know what I was going to do while he was at school. I knew that there was something more to his question, but I answered with my schedule for the day. Finally, he admitted that he wanted to know if I was headed to his Grammie's house. He told me as he got out of the car, "catch the bunny!"
What is with these folks that think that I can catch bunnies?
I did go to my parents' house to dump all my stuff before I was going to head to my "office" to study before I picked up my nephew from school. When I got there, my mom pulled out her camera to show me the pictures of the wild bunny. It was adorable.
So, we got the dog on the leash and went for a "walk" so that we could look for the bunny. And there it was... hanging out in a neighbor's yard. I brought out a carrot and tried to entice it over, but it was skittish. I could get about a foot and a half from it and then it would run. It was cute, though, no doubt.
|Carmul, iphone, 6/13|
I must have mentioned seeing the bunny to my nephew because when he came to stay over, he wanted to look for it. We didn't go out when he first mentioned it, and then later as we were lazing around the house. There was some commotion in the kitchen. When I went to check it out, my nephew was ecstatic, "The BUNNY!" He had locked the dog in the other room and out we went to see if it was still around. There it was, in the neighbor's yard.
We found it and tracked it a little, and then my nephew told me he had to go to the bathroom. But he insisted that I be on BUNNY WATCH. I sat outside on the sidewalk and watched the bunny. It was a curious little bunny – reddish brown, super cute. It came up to the fence and peeked at me through the iron rods in the fence. Since it was sitting there sniffing the air to see if I was safe, I decided to try to mimic his nose movements.
As I sat there, I was scrutinizing this bunny. It seemed different than the skittish one I had seen before. But it has been a week, so maybe it was older and bigger. Something in the next yard over ran across the yard, and I caught a bit of fur in the corner of my eye. I started looking that way. I was afraid it was a cat or a dog that might frighten the bunny. Then a little brown fur ball hopped right back through that other yard. There were TWO!
I went inside to get my camera to get some photos and to let my nephew know there were two wild bunnies. Sadly, I snapped three photos and my battery died.
When my nephew returned, he went out with me to search for the bunnies. I put out a little water dish and it hopped right over to get a drink.
I could hear the phone ringing, so I went to grab it. I realized I could take photos with my phone, too. The other bunny was not curious at all. He ran from us, right under a car.
|Skittish, iphone, 6/13|
He plunked himself down, stretched out under that car like he knew he could outwait us. I snapped some photos of him and he even emerged from under the car for a good one. Then he promptly took off across the street to another porch where he could relax.
|Skittish, iphone, 6/13|
By now, my nephew had decided he was going to catch a bunny. I was doubtful, and we didn't have a cage to put it into if we did catch it. He went into the house to search for a cage anyway. He emerged with a crate determined to corner the bunny. There were no plans beyond that.
We chased the curious one. We named it Carmul (that is caramel, mispronounced). Though over the few hours we were on BUNNY WATCH the name changed to Clover and then Spike(?!) Before coming back to Carmul.
We didn't catch it. But the bunny was no less curious or friendly despite not wanting to be caught. After a while, my nephew decided *being friends* was just as good as catching it. Mijo noticed it like dandelions and he started picking them throughout the yard. That little bunny ate right out of his hand.
|Mijo & Carmul, 6/13|
|House mijo built, early stages, iphone|
My nephew was so tickled, he decided to use that crate to build a house instead of using it to trap the bunny.
He found some cardboard and asked for tape. Singing as he worked, he devised a way to let air in but keep the sun out. Then he collected food for the bunny.
Finally he found a towel to act as the cushion. I realized I could take videos – I wanted to capture my nephew working and singing. And in that video, I also got the shot of the bunny letting my nephew touch him.
Later my father came out to inspect the bunny house my nephew had built. The two of them started in on constructing a second choice home for the bunny out of a cardboard box. My nephew filled them both with fresh dandelion cuttings and the stems from the kale salad I was making.
Later that day, as we continued to watch and follow, the bunny let both of us scratch behind his ears. My nephew got so friendly I thought he would pick up the bunny and want to keep him. But the boundaries had been set – the bunny wanted to be free and friends.
Over the next day, we saw the bunny approach his homes, but we never saw him go into either. The dog continued to alert us to the bunny's presence by going crazy barking.
Then Sunday, my mother came into my room distraught. My father had found the bunny near his truck's tire – dead.
Yes, it is the cycle of life. Yes, a docile bunny in a neighborhood full of dogs and cats was living dangerously. No, there wasn't anything I could have done to stop it from happening … indeed we had been expecting something like this. I could hear Holly Golightly admonishing Doc, "You mustn't love a wild thing."
Knowing, expecting, anticipating did not make it hurt any less. I tried to reason to myself all the things I knew, but when I saw my dad carrying him to the trash can in a plastic bag, the tears spilled right out.
|Carmul, kicking back while mijo made the house, iphone|