As the “Easter Baby” of the family, I have always loved bunnies. I’ve had dozens of stuffed bunnies throughout the years, I have read countless bunny books, and even found the killer rabbit in Monty Python to be misunderstood.
I am still a fan of bunnies even though I know that in real life wild bunnies are not particularly nice. They have ridiculously sharp claws (unless they dig a lot, in which case they have ridiculously jagged, dirty claws), are extremely skittish, and just generally unfriendly. But that’s ok. I’m still a fan.
Their cuteness mitigates their savage-skittishness.
Now that you, dear reader, understand my fondness for wee whabbits I can continue with my story.
Many, many years ago my sister and I were given pet bunnies from our parents. Two little female lop eared sisters. Buttons was mine and Snuggles was Julia’s. My Dad built a hutch in the backyard and my sister and I happily spent hours playing with our darlings. Snuggles definitely lived up to her name, she was friendly and adorable, and loved human affection.
Buttons, however, was very different.
Buttons, my fluffy brown demon, hated to be touched. We couldn’t pet her, or play with her, or even put food in her hutch without running to my Mom with battle wounds. She was a nasty, nasty pet who I loved as dearly as a terrified and scratched child could.
We got a dog around the same time Snuggles passed away and everyone but me lost interest in dear Buttons. And this became the Golden Age of our time together. I used to sit outside, piling the front of her hutch with chickweed (praying that she wouldn’t scratch me) and read or write in the backyard, content to listen to her munch. We (by we, I mean my Dad) even set up the area so that Buttons could climb out of the hutch on her own to explore a bit with a false sense of freedom.
It was delightful.
But then something terrible happened. While my family (except for my Dad, who stayed home with the pets) were in Nanaimo to visit my cousins for a long weekend Buttons was murdered by a raccoon. Now, it wasn’t as gory as that last sentence suggests. Buttons wasn’t savagely ripped apart or eaten. She was scared to death.
Literally scared to death.
(Or, as my Dad likes to now describe it, her heart exploded. But more on that later.)
I was devastated. Even though Buttons was mean and clearly hated me with every fiber of her fluffy being, she was mine and I adored her. Her death started a hatred in me of that adorable bandit of nature known as the raccoon for many years to come.
To be continued.