I was sitting on the porch steps the other day, reading and basking in the sun, while the neighborhood kids played four square in the cul-de-sac. I heard a commotion off in the bushes, and was quite surprised to see a baby rabbit running for its life … being chased by a very empowered chipmunk!
Not realizing what I was about to unleash, I called the kids over to see the baby rabbit. It had made its way back into our bushes. The kids blocked the obvious escape routes in hopes of catching it, and I played along, thinking they could never actually catch a rabbit.
Lesson #1: Never underestimate highly motivated children.
They did manage to get it out of the bushes, where it promptly ran into our open garage. Now I was a little worried. I had visions of the rabbit getting trapped somewhere in our garage and dying … and how wonderful that would smell after a few days. Six kids, fifteen minutes and one plastic storage bin later, they’d captured the baby rabbit.
Lesson #2: Anything has the potential to become a pet.
Within minutes of capture, this rabbit became the darling of the cul-de-sac. They filled the bin with grass, fetched it some water, and freely gave away my entire supply of organic baby carrots. After a few tense moments, the rabbit seemed resigned to the fate of being the neighborhood pet. He nibbled a few carrots, let the children stroke his back, and took a little nap.
Still, his natural instinct was to find his freedom. He tried several times to jump out of the bin, displaying his superb hopping skills. The kids weren’t ready to say goodbye, as a few of them were still desperately lobbying their parents for a free pet rabbit. (My kids knew better!) I had to tend to dinner, so I put them in charge of rabbit-sitting. This super-important task consisted of sitting by the bin and making sure the rabbit didn’t jump out.
Lesson #3: Never underestimate a highly motivated rabbit.
All the adoration and free organic carrots in the world weren’t enough to keep this rabbit from his true desire – freedom. I’m not sure exactly what happened, as I was in the backyard grilling dinner. Some say he jumped, others say he was dropped in a misguided attempt to move him to a new, grassier bin. But I heard the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the backyard as the rabbit saw his chance and scampered away to suburban rabbit freedom.
Oh well. At least we have the selfie to prove that for a few hours, we had a pet rabbit.