We pulled into a long driveway that lead to a small circle, surrounded by 5 mobile homes. Each surrounded by a plethora of scattered kid toys and playhouses, but none actually bore house numbers. A small girl and boy were driving in circles around the court in a pink Barbie Convertible Power Wheels, but I saw no one else. I hesitated to ask them which was #2, I’d followed small children down these types of bunny trails before, and found them to be unreliable historians. There’s just no good reason to trust a 3yr old’s judgement.
“Here”, I texted, and sat and waited to see which home elicited a response.
The door opened to the trailer closest to my car, and a cute young woman with a strawberry colored bun and a face full of piercings emerged. She approached our car carrying a skinny black and white bunny that she told us was a year old Mini Lop. I never got the woman’s name. My kids were already in love with this non-show quality critter, and the fact that it’s face was too long and the ears not quite right for the judges table meant nothing to them. This was to be Good Bunny’s wife.
I would later learn online that her coat was too silky to qualify her, even though all her toe nails did match (important). But in the meantime I was assured she was gentle with the lady’s 4 children, litter box trained, and came with 4 half-empty bags of treats. How was she so skinny?!
I had no more questions, there was nothing left to say. Our 2hr journey through Pennsylvania had lead us to this place, where I gave the woman my $15, loaded up our newest 4-H bunny (pet category only), and headed south. Feeling a little unsettled, or perhaps it was disappointed. I’m still not sure.
Girlchild and Manchild argued over who held her first and longest. Twice I had to stop the car to pass this poor adored creature to the next pair of outstretched arms, and settle her into their car-seated laps. If she minded, she never showed it.
We rolled into our driveway at the keen hour of 9:30pm, 2 hours past Manchild’s bedtime, and creeping in on mine. Another half hour to set up a quick cage for the soon-to-be outside rabbit who had never actually been outside (didn’t know that either). The kitchen would do for the night. Girl Bunny ran for her litter box, drank 1/2 a bottle of water that night, and her skinny belly was tennis ball round by morning. She was happy.
Girl Bunny was also gently brave. I took her out to examine her several times after the kids were asleep, checking to make sure she really failed the criteria for Mini Lops, and looking at her teeth, nails, and tattoo-free ears. She demurely complied with each inspection, then perked up and hopped around my kitchen when she was freed. Occasionally checking back in on her new pen and having a snack. Traveling seemed to be hard work for a rabbit.
The next morning Girlchild woke up too early. She was now in a 3hr sleep deficit and today would not be pretty. It was my fault. I couldn’t wait until the week-end in case the rabbit was sold, so when a friend cancelled dinner plans I immediately went rabbit hunting online. Then made 5 minute plans for a spontaneous road trip. My kids had done this before, but never quite so quick. I headed north without even having the address, trusting it would be supplied to me in time. It was. I got the text at the first stop for gas. But I wasn’t exactly on the quickest route, so we lost an hour. Flexibility can really turn around and bite you in the hind end bits.
A tearful Girlchild emerges from the kitchen, showing me the world’s tiniest scratch and pleading for the bunny to come out to play. I get out of bed and retrieve Girl Bunny. She is just as lovely today as yesterday, and willing to snuggle in Girlchild’s bed as my tall little girl tried easing back into her day for a 2nd time, hoping for a better mood. I’m pretty sure the bunny helped. In fact, when doesn’t a little extra bunny help?
So now we have Girl Bunny, and she is a key part of my daughter’s financial education. We plan to have a litter a year, and let Girlchild keep the money. We will show her how to use it to save for big things (I suggested college or a car, she thought perhaps she needed an iPhone), and open a bank account for her. Let her see how $20 a kit (baby bunny) X 10 kits a year, for 3 years, can turn into quite a nice nest egg when expensive dreams roll around.
SO maybe she isn’t a show bunny. Not too many of us are, if we’re honest. But she is loveable, and she gives love, and $50 show babies just wouldn’t sell around these parts anyway.
Now if we can just convince Girlchild to part with the babies…