The Easter Bunny
26 March 2019 | La Cruz de Huanacastle
We are in La Cruz heading north to go back to the sea. I have come to realize that most of the writing I have done over the years is a reaction to emotional trauma. Based upon the quantity of blog updates, life is pretty damn good!
We were with friends last night and somehow the rabbit story came up. I've wanted to write it down for years. It's a true story which is well told by one of our good friends. Here it is with a few names changed to protect the innocent:
The Rabbit Story
Our friend's dad Mike lives in a nice house with a big fenced back yard where his dog Max runs free and enjoys the good life. Max is a robust German Shepard: an energetic, alert and fiercely protective dog. Squirrels don't wander randomly through Max's yard. They have more sense than that.
Sometimes there is a little tension with the neighbour, Antonio. Antonio, you see, keeps rabbits. Rabbits wandering free on the other side of the fence sometimes cause a little excitement for Max. He gets a little vocal. Sometimes it seems like the fence will fall down when Max lunges at the rabbits.
Antonio from time to time suggests that Max ought to be chained up. Mike from time to time suggests to Antonio that maybe he should... Well whatever. Not really important to the story. Antonio and Mike have enjoyed a few years of relative peace that a good fence can bring to neighbourly relations. An uneasy peace perhaps, but each enjoy their animals and say hello to one another now again without complicating things by getting together for beers.
Everything was going OK.
Then one morning, Mike hears Max come up the back porch. Max is very excited. He proudly drops his prize for Mike to see: a rabbit. A dead rabbit. A filthy, dirty, dead rabbit. One that looks as though Max has dragged it around the yard for a while.
Mike is shocked. He has always felt that Antonio is unnecessarily dramatic and that his rabbits are perfectly safe. Now this. A dead rabbit on the back porch. He can't bear the thought of the apologies and the "I told you so. That beast needs a chain!" Mike looked in the back yard and could see where Max had dug under the fence. It was obvious who the guilty party was.
Mike did the logical thing.
He took the rabbit from Max and brought it upstairs. He poured a little warm water and got the bath ready. He opted for the unscented Ivory body wash rather than the apple pomegranate scented shampoo that was also handy on the edge of the tub. The rabbit fur lathered up rather well. Mike rinsed and then dried the rabbit with a towel.
The blow drying took quite a bit longer than he imagined it would. Rabbit fur is very fine and dense. Eventually, it looked all clean and fluffy and rabbit like. A little too fluffy. He patted the fur down and flattened it out some. The corpse was a bit stiff, but he managed to bend it into a nice comfy looking resting rabbit pose.
Mike opened his front door a crack and peeked outside to make sure the car was gone, and that Antonio was safely at work. He walked across his driveway with the bunny wrapped in a towel so that none of the other neighbours would notice and slipped in to Antonio's back yard through the gate.
There were two rabbit hutches in the back yard up against the house. One had a couple of rabbits in it and the other one was empty. He figured the empty hutch must be fluffy bunny's home. He propped bunny in the back corner of the cage leaned him against the side trying to make everything look normal. He made it look like he imagined it would if bunny died peacefully in its sleep.
Mike spent the rest of the morning filling in the hole under the fence smoothing things over. He even went so far as to sprinkle dried leaves around so there would be no evidence of any canine digging. Everything looked good.
Mike waited. Antonio returned from work. There was no noise. Not a peep from next door. Even Max was surprisingly quiet. The evening went peacefully. No doorbell ringing. No phone calls. Nothing to suggest that the little bunny hunting transgression had been discovered.
Two days later, Mike could see Antonio in the backyard from his kitchen window. He went out on the back porch keeping Max shut in the kitchen.
"How's it going?" he asked Antonio.
"Not so good actually." Antonio replied.
"My rabbit died."
Mike cut him off a little bit expressing sympathy, "Very sorry to hear that..."
"No. No." Antonio explained. "Rabbits die all the time. It's not a big deal. But this one.... This one died a couple of days ago. I buried him in the back yard. And then the next day... The next day... he is back in his cage like Jesus on Sunday."
"Weird," Mike said. And he went back in the kitchen mentioning nothing.
Years have passed. To this day, Mike has said nothing about the rabbit resurrection to Antonio.
Please mention nothing.