It's a Dog's Life

It's a Dog's Life
Furry Four-legged Fun

Family Felines

Family Felines
Cats Rule and Dogs Drool

Won't You Be My Neigh-Bor?

Won't You Be My Neigh-Bor?
Ride 'Em Cowgirl(boy)

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather
Flights of Fancy

A Family Christmas for a Bunny

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Laurie was only eight years old but she knew she had done something bad. She truly hadn't meant to and loved all creatures warm and furry, but when she had rode her big wheel over the mound of dirt in excitement she had no idea that there was a young bunny underneath that had just nearly run itself to death in fright after having gotten separated from his mother and the warren.

A Girl and Her Pet Bunny by Benny Mazur
But Laurie wasn't old enough to know that when bunnies or other small mammals go into shock they can actually freeze up and resemble a dead animal. She knelt reverently over the small mound of dirt that now held the bunny and cried the tears of a heartbroken little girl.

Laurie silently mourned the bunny while reaching a tentative hand down to it to pick it up. She knew even at eight that the respectful thing to do would be to bury it. She didn't want to ask her daddy as daddy had been hurt in a work accident just before his allotted days off for Christmas each year. Just a week ago she had been brought by her teacher frightfully to the hospital to learn her father's legs had been crushed. But she had been a good girl, and even with her mom long gone to who knows where, she knew how to make cereal and to help her daddy through this hard times in the ways even a little eight year old girl can contribute.

Daddy had also warned her that Christmas may not be piled in presents like it had been each year before him and Mommy had divorced. Things were just hard he had told her, and when she gazed into her Daddy's tired eyes, she didn't even question it, things were hard indeed.

As she scooped up the bunny it startled back to life in her very hands. Laurie gasped at first from the shock of movement, and slowly that turned into a slow wonder as the bunny shivered and shook and then settled snugly into her gloved hands. Laurie stopped walking and immediately began to call for the Bunnies Momma. Since she had no idea what the bunnies momma's name was she just looked around mostly, and then glanced back into her hands at the bunny.

She knew then as it looked up to her, looked directly at her, that the bunny would need her to survive. She had no idea how old he was, or that he was a he, but only that he had no Momma, just like her, and since she could be a pretend Momma sometimes to help Daddy, she was certain she could be a good Momma to a bunny who didn't even need a bowl of cereal in the mornings to get going. As she walked slowly back home she glanced into the homes she passed and envied them their Christmas trees. Daddy said Momma had taken their old one and with Christmas being so close and him unable to get around, they would just have to settled for the tiny decorative tree he usually kept on his office desk every year.

Laurie knew Daddy wouldn't be happy about the bunny, but she also knew of an old tradition that her Daddy said came from her ancestors that said when you saved the life of another soul, you were responsible for them for the rest of your life. Laurie knew that Daddy would help her to honor that tradition, he wouldn't have mentioned it otherwise right?

As Laurie walked into the kitchen she had no idea her Daddy had been watching her walk up the street, so seemingly small and helpless. He had seen her glancing hopefully at the Christmas trees in the other homes on the block, he had seen her cradling for dear life whatever she held in her hands. He had decided before she even made it to the door that he would let her nurse the bird or whatever she had found that needed help, and only hoped that whatever it was hadn't already died and would leave his broken hearted little girl a lot sadder than she ever deserved to be on such a beautiful holiday as Christmas.

"Laurie, what do you have my dear?" He said to her as she walked slowly into the kitchen from the mud room.

Laurie glanced up at him with a tear in her eye and very meticulously planned her every word. "Daddy, you once told me the story of our ancestors who believed that when you had saved the life of another soul that you became responsible for it for the rest of your life."

"Yes, that is correct Laurie. Did you save the life of this small rabbit?" Laurie's Daddy asked in a very serious tone.

"Well, surely I did as not only was he alone without a mother in site but he was hiding in a mound I ran over playing on my new big wheel. It has to be meant to be to be so many coincidences that led me to him. Isn't that what you taught me before Daddy?" Laurie said, tears still shining brightly in her eyes as she knew at best her Daddy would make her take the bunny to the shelter where it would surely die from lack of love and care.

"Laurie, you are a wonder. To be so young and to remember such an important story and an honor that should be close to all of our hearts truly warms me. You of course are right, you now owe it to the bunny to care for it until at least the day it can care for itself."

Christmas Bunny by rabbit_mage
"Oh! Thank you Daddy, thank you so much. This is the best Christmas present ever!" Laurie exclaimed. And her Daddy, with a tear welling up slowly in his own eye, replied:

"No Laurie, thank you, for being my perfect Christmas present this year and every year."

About the Author
Written by Jenn Landers
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