Rodents of Unusual Size

Today Girlchild had a 4-H community service event at Port Discovery Children’s Museum. An e-mail had gone out to all the parents of the Hare Raisers club members, pleading for volunteers. Then pleading again.

Turns out that 4 families bringing 6 total rabbits show up, and crammed together on to a single folding table. Funny thing about bunnies, they can breed in seconds. Combine that thought with the image of 5 squirming, excited, straight eared rabbits, and you get the picture of our display. A pure and total ruckus.

Bunny number 6 was neither squirmy nor excited. Bunny number 6 was our lop eared rabbit, Good Bunny. Good Bunny  was 3 times the size of the skinny dwarfs, and showed up with his own fist full of carrots. Lined up on the table, Good Bunny looked like he may have snacked on a few of the straight eared dwarfs prior to set up.

Now Good Bunny is not over weight, he’s just a mini-lop, that happens to be a larger breed than the pets in attendance. Captain Schenanigans said he looked like an over-sized gerbil from the front. Poor Good Bunny couldn’t help it, that’s just the way God made him. In middle school, I felt like Good Bunny every day!

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So after attempting a few rounds of everybody-hold-your-bunny-still-with-enough-fur-available-for-the-visiting-kids-to-pet, we started working in shifts. A couple kids went to see the museum, a few stayed at the table, and the family with the 2 girl bunnies ended up sitting on the floor across from the table, and putting their rabbits on a towel on the floor. It worked better this way, where the smaller kids who can’t reach across the table can kneel down beside the bunnies on a towel. It was like entering a rabbit social, a middle school dance with girls on one side and boys on the other. Right down to the chaperoning parent wandering about carrying spare bunnies. Good luck if you had allergies.

Yet somehow. as the morning creeped by, the children managed to trickle away from the table. Their chairs were filled with parents holding squirmy rabbits, while their kids were gallivanting through the museum.  We can’t say we didn’t see this coming, but we rolled our eyes none the less. Parents are not 4-H members.

At one point Manchild managed to get himself minorly lost, punch a kid taller than himself in the thorax when his turn was stolen, and land himself a seat at the bunny parent table to cool off a while. He happily sat there, in soaked pants from the water exhibit, eating his weight in trail mix.

After a morning of rabbit wrangling, the Schenanigans family returned home and crashed. I popped My Friend Totoro in the DVD player for the young ‘en, then dozed on the sofa in the basement (Manchild and I had spent yesterday cleaning hen pens for a friend, and we were still drained). At some point a child brought down a nearly empty  jar of baby dill pickles, and Manchild proceeded to dump the remaining contents on the rug. I was awoken to a small naked boy apologizing profusely. Failing to open my eyes, I instructed him to get clean it up, and went back to dozing.  I am the Queen Mother at raising independent children.

After the movie ended, I sat up to find the entire roll of paper towels, with the metal paper towel stand still holding the roll, laying on the carpet near a wet spot smelling faintly of dill. Manchild.

The day meandered on from there, and at the end of it Girlchild realized that she had missed her window of opportunity for learning how to trim Bad Bunny’s nails, and threw a fit. Bad Bunny has no idea how big a bullet he dodged today. Not only did he avoid having his toenails trimmed by a 6yr old novice manicurist, but he also avoided spending 3 hours on display for random children. All this was accomplished by learning to spray his own pee at humans, and a few choice bites on soft child flesh. Bad Bunny now has the respect of the Schenaniganlets, and his life is made in the shade with pink lemonade.

20160125_103815Bad Bunny last winter

Good Bunny is, however, still sweet, snuggly, and exhausted. While he may have won the family popularity contest, he has also opened himself up to a life of being shoved in and out of a cat carrier, riding without style to bunny shows, being the subject of education at community events, and pretty much having the general public rub his fuzzy parts in all directions. Did I mention the ear tatoo? All show rabbits have one. So while being the bunny everyone loves may give you a sterling reputation, it will also earn you a sore ear and a balding back. At least, when Girlchild turns 8-years-old and can finally show animals in the 4-H shows, Good Bunny will get a wife. Personality genes like these surely must be passed on!

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