Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Basket of Rabbits

 A lot of kids grew up with a favorite pet. Perhaps a dog or a cat or a hamster named Stanley. My sister and I grew up with a rabbit. Not the domestic kind but a wild cottontail, named of course, Nosey.

Now why would a grown man want to write about a rabbit? This is a man that doesn’t side up to dogs very well and the only cat he likes is an ornery self-absorbed Calico by the name of Medbh (pronounced Meave) who was named after a legendary Irish warrior queen. Go figure!

Nosey was remarkable on a number of different levels not the least of which is that she survived out of the wild after just five days here in God’s playground. 

It’s been a long time since I’ve thought about that ‘silly wabbit’ who was such an important part of our household for a number of years. While other kids had cats and dogs, we had a wild rabbit living with us and never thought it strange.

Nosey and her siblings were born in a small hole in the ground and then covered with dead grass and twigs. Four tiny week-old newborns left in an empty field. It looked just like an Easter basket full of cotton-tail bunnies. Mother rabbit probably went off to shop for food when her litter was discovered by four rag-tag urchins one Saturday morning.

Like the kids we were, there was no thought of leaving the nest alone. Instead we found a box to put them in and took them home. Three died in the first couple of days but one lived and started to thrive under a constant infusion of warm milk and affection. We had a fourth member of the family.

Nosey was like a dog with its affection and a cat with its independent streak. It lived in the basement during the day when we were at school and our Mom was at work. It traipsed through the house at night like it owned the place and sat wherever it wanted to. It ate when we ate and used to beg for scraps from my Mother. It watched TV when we were allowed to and it did its business in a litter box downstairs. It was one very remarkable rabbit.

Growing up during my grade school years Nosey was a constant. My sister would take it for long walks on a lease and I would let it roam the backyard when I was around. During the summer it would sit in our window sill for hours on end and often we’d catch it looking in wonderment at the world outside.

It would eat the tinsel off of our Christmas tree and nap in my Mother’s lap. It would share an apple with me and even came to my 18th birthday party.

 One cool dude and his rabbit.

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