Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Rabbit

We had very few pets growing up. Due to my mom’s, Lawnwhisperer’s, and Jimmy’s (Baby Jesus) serious phobia of canines we knew we would never have a dog. We did have a few cats though. There was Gray, named because she was gray, and later we had Sears and Roebuck, named so because they were found at Sears and Roebuck, where my dad worked. And at one point, when I was about 10 or so, the Easter bunny, left us a rabbit.

I do not remember the rabbit’s name because we did not have him for very long. We kept the rabbit in the back yard in a cage made of wood and chicken wire and screens. We would go out back everyday to look at the rabbit and try to feed it carrots and admire the Raisinets it left behind. The rest of the neighborhood kids liked the rabbit as well. Especially the girl that lived behind us, catty- corner, her name was April.

Most of us did not like April. Most of the girls that grew up in our boy-dominated neighborhood (granted my 7 brothers, 1sister and I made up half the neighborhood) were either tomboys and could hang out with us, or they kept their distance. Not April. She was always trying to do what we were doing. The problem was she was all girly girl. She wore frilly dresses and white stockings and had curly hair and she was pretty snobby. We always compared her to Nellie from Little House on the Prairie.

April loved the rabbit in our backyard. She would often climb the fence that separated our yards and take the rabbit out of its cage and play with it and pet it. She probably gave it more attention than my entire family ever did. We would catch her feeding our rabbit and we would go out back and yell at her in that nanny-nanny-pooh-pooh way.

“Why don’t you get your own rabbit?”
“Don’t give the rabbit girl germs.”
“If you love our rabbit so much why don’t you marry it?”

She always ended up leaving in a huff or tears.
“I’m telling.” April would whine as she scurried over the fence being careful not to get rust stains on her perfectly pleated plaid dress.

One day, and I am sketchy on the details, we came home to find the door to the rabbit cage open with no rabbit in sight. We of course went and told our parent’s that the rabbit was gone. My parent’s said that someone must have left the door open and that the rabbit escaped. We knew it was no of us. It had to be April. Our dislike for the girl intensified. She kidnapped our rabbit. My parent’s talked us out of forming a mob, with wiffle-ball bats and sticks, and marching over to her house and demanding the rabbit back. They assured us that the rabbit had probably escaped due to our own fault.

Deep down we knew it was not one of us that let the rabbit out. I believe one of us confronted April and she denied the kidnapping as well as mistakenly letting the rabbit go. I think she was more upset than us that the rabbit was gone, but we did not let that fool us. It was her fault. We knew it.

We blamed her for years and eventually the rabbit incident became a joke in our house. Even as adults we would talk about how April was responsible for the rabbit’s disappearance. It was only just a few years ago that my father told me the true story of the rabbit.

He came home one day and found the rabbit dead. Stiff as a board, in it’s cage. In an effort to “protect” the younger kids from seeing a dead rabbit, or feeling guilty over the death of the pet, he quickly disposed of the carcass and left the cage door open. Instead of telling us that the rabbit died he would let us believe that rabbit just escaped. A rabbit that was roaming free in the wild of suburbia was easier for us kids to grasp than death would be. He did not realize that we would blame April.

When I asked him how come he let us blame April for so long and his response was, “You guys blamed April. And I figured as long as the blame was going in her direction I was off the hook.”

My dad’s birthday is this weekend. The man who came up with “Poop and Boogies”
Happy Birthday Dad.


The Q said...

What a cool Dad.

Happy Birthday Poop & Boogies Dad!

I swear, EVERY time I tried to type "Poop & Boogies" I'd type "Poop & Boobies" instead. What is WRONG with me these days?!?!

Steve said...

At first I though you were going to say you found the rabbit boiling in a pot on the stove ala Fatal Attraction.

Hysterical story.
Happy B-day to Mr. P&B

Anonymous said...

Caddy Corner, Caddy Corner?


Also, I love the word Carcass. You have a good way of telling a story.

I heard the Rabbits Grandson lives at the LawnWhisperers' House

Anonymous said...

I love this post. It's funny and so well written and touching all at the same time. And it mentions Nellie Olson. More Poop and Boogies please.

Peter said...

When our Hampster died my Dad told me the Hampster had gone to town.
Ibelieved him.

Judypatooote said...

LOL Great Memory Wm......and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your dad....

Anonymous said...

Your father is a wise man, Bill! Hope the originator of Poop and Boogies had a great birthday.

jen said...

Happy Birthday to Poop & Boogies/Lawnwhisper's Dad!!! What a funny story!

Tammy said...

I once told my son that our Beta fish went to go visit his family in Oklahoma. Yea. He's still there. They would miss him so much if he came back home.

Happy Birthday Oh, Founder of Poop & Boogies.

Kate Giovinco Photography said...

happy birthday to your dad!

What a great story...poor April!

Effie said...

Happy Birthday to the Dad of William, LawnWhisperer and all the rest!

Poor April!

Sharpie said...

LOL!! What we won't do to spare their feelings, right?

My pet death story:
We had some goldfish and OF COURSE one died, they're fish - they swim, eat and DIE. And my youngest was DISTRAUGHT because he loves all animals, reptiles and fish with the voracity of a some-day VET - SO...I told him that if we flushed him down the toilet - he could swim up to Jesus and swim with him forever. He was pleased with this answer. Flush. Amen.

(we have a septic tank - but that's just a technicality.)

Meegs said...

Very sweet!!

Happy Birthday Bill's Daddy!

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Dad! I hope it's a good one! :)

Hubby's Mom had to put their Beagle, "Patches" to sleep ages and ages ago. They STILL give her grief about that. :)

Anonymous said...

Dude, someone totally stole Bunzo too! it was like the same exact story, sans Little House On The Prairie characters. Except our neighbour lady, Mrs. Longnecker was a ringer for Michael Landon. But I think that was Highway to Heaven, anyway. Oh well.

When's the baby due? Our first one's ETA is June 18...

Anonymous said...

That's kind of like when your parents take those Easter Chicks to "a nice farm where they will have a wonderful life."

Don't you think someone should go and find April and let her off the hook.
Happy birthday to your Dad

Dollymama said...

Ah, true confessions! I love it!

Anonymous said...

Little do you know but April has a list and all your names are on it...

This reminds me of an episode of My Name is Earl.

Happy Birthday to Dad!!!

Unknown said...

That's hysterical. Happy Birthday Bill's Dad!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to your Dad.

Poor April.

We had a dog that we were told died (it had been through a lot of trauma) but we never saw the body. To this day I think my dad put him out of his misery. *grin*


Redneck Mommy said...

Hysterically funny! The best thing I have read today!! You're dad rocks. I hope he has a very happy birthday.

And I hope April hasn't spent much money on therapy bills.

Anonymous said...

Man, we had an April in our neighborhood too. No one ever wanted to play with her, everyone made fun of her, and she got blamed for everything... freaky.

My girl had some goldfish and one morning we woke up to find the whole tank floating belly up. There were like 7 of them! We disposed of them before she awoke. We told her they went to stay with a friend of ours. We had a falling out with said friend. She's mad that he still has her fish.

Happy birthday to your Dad!

Anonymous said...

The real reason DAD wanted to post the blame was because he didn't want another rabbit.
He said that if he could cast blame on us then that would be his excuse for not getting another one.

If the rabbit just died, he said we would make him get another one.

kimmyk said...

Happy Birthday to your dad !!!

eclectic said...

"The rabbit died."

Isn't that an expression regarding... you know? Yeah, like your dad's gonna say THAT to you...!

Cat said...

That is freaking hysterical. Your dad is quite the card! He was "off the hook"? Heh. Poor, poor April...

(I love the way you told this story, btw. V. entertaining.)

Anonymous said...

Your father is a wise man. Happy Birthday to him!!!