The magic of disappearing bunnies

Published 7:43 pm Friday, April 18, 2014

Years ago I wrote for a little weekly newspaper known as The Troy Progress. Recently, this “Chatter Box” suddenly came to mind as I wheeled into the Walmart parking lot.
Last Friday afternoon, there was a man sitting in the corner of the parking lot beside CATO and the ice machine. He was selling baby bunnies, and it brought back one very special memory for me from many years ago.
My father in law was always the one to go above and beyond when it came to his grandsons. My husband is an only child so when we had Mitch, then Zack and later Garrett and Ross, Papa was just over the moon about all of them. He is still a wonderful grandfather, he just has a little bit harder time keeping it all in order these days.
Mitch was probably 5 and Zack was 2 when Papa decided the Easter Bunny would leave the boys something very special at his house … bunnies! We had eaten lunch at their house in Dothan when he called everyone outside. Don looked at me and we knew something was up and it would be something unexpected. Papa loved the unexpected. So we are all standing in the yard, he disappeared around the corner of the house, and suddenly five little baby bunnies hopped into the back yard. Mitch and Zack went wild! They just couldn’t believe the Easter Bunny had left the little bunnies just for them.
After about an hour or so, it was time to pack up and head home. Don suddenly realized he had to catch the bunnies, put them back in the cage and get them to Troy … we were in Dothan. That should have been clue number one to leave them in the yard at Papa’s, but have you ever told a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old that the bunnies couldn’t come home with them? On Easter afternoon? I didn’t think you had! So here we go, bunny herding. We finally got them all rounded up, in the pen and here we go.
When we got home, we were greeted by our great big wonderful Golden Retriever Maggie … clue number two… should have left the bunnies in Dothan. We decided to put their pen on a high table on the back porch and work on a more permanent home later.
The next day, Mitch goes to school; Zack to day-care; Don and I to work. I ran home for lunch and discovered the rabbit pen has been knocked off the table, hinged door opened, bunnies gone and Maggie smiling. Clue number three…should have left the bunnies in Dothan. No way could she have done all that in four hours, but there was not a bunny in site. Panic immediately sets in. How on earth was this going to be explained to the boys? You have to remember this is way before cell phones and Don couldn’t be reached for help!
For some reason, I had taken a classified ad for The Progress that week over the phone of course … no e-mail … about rabbits for sale in Brundidge. I tore through the house looking for the old newspaper that had that number. There it was, in the outside trash but the number could be read. Yes, the man told me, he still had rabbits for sale. After a quick trip to Brundidge to buy rabbits, back home to put them in a much higher location, the bunnies were replaced and the boys never knew the difference.
Because as you all have guessed, the bunny newness wore off a few days later and they were released to go home to their families who lived with the Easter Bunny.
The boys are all about grown now and the Easter Bunny is a thing of the past, but some memories are just too good not to share. Maybe one day Don will be the grandfather who buys bunnies … but when they disappear it will not be me who replaces them!
Happy Easter everyone!
Karen Herring
Troy resident

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