I do not know how long I have been in my wire House in the back of the big red Box. The Box has been rumbling all day and I can smell that the Daddy is in the front. Once I heard him muttering, “C’mon, get out of my lane,” and another time when there were lots of jangly sounds he said, “Sheesh, isn’t there anything but golden oldies on the radio?” Then the jangly sounds stopped and then I fell asleep.
The Daddy opened the Box and suddenly I couldn’t see but I almost fainted from the smells. There is Mud here and Trees and a big, moving Water. Everyone was shouting “Hurrah, it’s the Bunster! Hello Bunny-Oh!” which was nice but I wanted the Box to close to that I could stay where it was dark but then the Daddy carried me in his arms and put me down on a shady green surface, and instantly I was so happy that I capered and frolicked around. Everyone laughed and said, “That bunny has more personality here in Maine than he’s ever had in Washington.” Then the Smallest Child brought me some nice white pellets and I started to gobble them but then the Mummy said, “no, don’t do that don’t give bunny all his papaya enzyme tablets at one time you will make him sick,” so I ate them as fast as I could before the Mummy took them away. Then the Second-Smallest Child squatted down next to me, and I leaned over to her to be cozy and warm and when the other Children saw that they came over, too, and they all squatted down around me but to be honest that was a little more society than I cared to have so I nipped under the squeaky aluminum glider and then I fell asleep.
This place has a mesh door that says “Whap!” whenever a Child runs through it, and everyone is cheerful and you can smell charcoal and roasting foods and burning sugar every day. The Mummy calls the roasting thing the Barbie, and the Daddy says, “It is not a Barbie it is a Barbeque what are you Australian?” but I know what a Barbie is because I nibbled the hair on one once and I don’t think you can roast food on it.
Every time the door says “Whap!” and I wake up there are new feet on my green surface. Today more Children came with a Mummah and a Pop and they all hunkered down to see me and said, “It’s the rabbit isn’t he sweet we never thought of rabbits as nice pets but now we have to think again,” and I raced around the room to demonstrate how handsome and fast I am and then I ran back under the glider and I fell asleep.
Today the Daddy and I were wrestling. When he let go I was wrapped up like a package. Suddenly I tried to unwrap myself but the Mummy said, “Oh no you don’t bunster you can’t go Outside without a Harness.” Everyone was laughing and clapping and the Daddy carried me in his arms Outside. Sure, I know, who hasn’t been Outside what is the big deal with that? Except that there is Grass) here, and Moss. The Daddy put me down and made a click with some metal behind my ears and I was so thrilled and I romped around in the Grass and then I found out what that metal clicking was, which was a leash, which I didn’t know. Everyone was cheering and I streaked into the underbrush like a rocket and then a Child cried, “Watch out bunny slow down!” and then I flew up into the air. The entire sky flashed before my eyes and instantly I was lying in a soft bed of Moss. Bunnies do not stand much on their dignity but this was pretty embarrassing. So I pretended not to have noticed, and distracted everyone by sitting up on my haunches and rubbing my nose. This always makes people coo, “Aw that Twitchy he’s like Peter Rabbit,” and other flattering things. Then I loped around carefully to see how far I could range and drank in the lovely smells and sounds of Wilderness. Then I crept under a fern and I fell asleep.
After today, I don’t care when I buy the farm or when the fat lady sings and I no longer feel the need to see Naples. For I have tasted Bunny Paradise.
The mesh door said “Whap!” so many times today that I lost track and there were so many foreign feet on my surface that I could barely sort out which smell belonged to which Child or Mum or Dad. Some of the new people say “To-mah-to” like the Daddy and some say “To-may-to” like the Mummy but I am glad they don’t give Tomatoes to me because I prefer carrots. All the Small Girls give me carrots but sometimes the Mummy comes in and says, “Please children I am glad you love the Bunny but he really cannot eat so many vegetables at one time, look he cannot even fit through the door of his cage now you have put so many in,” and she takes the nice foods away.
Suddenly I woke up and I was Outside in my Harness. The Barbie roasted meats and sugars all day and when the sky was red there were popping and fizzing sounds and the Mummies and Daddies laughed more noisily but no one was as loud as those Boys. Sorry, Diary, I forgot to tell you about the Boys. This place has Boys in every size and the Mummy says they all have the same Volume Setting which is perpetually on High. I do not know why, but whenever there are Boys around, ordinary objects start moving strangely. Once I saw a pink disc gliding between Boys. Today rocks skipped into the moving Water and a Ball flew across the Grass. Then the Boys started laughing about “hitting the Birdie.” Goodness knows I don’t like Birds but hitting a Birdie is really the limit. I couldn’t look. Then I peeked out and saw a small white feathery creature flying back and forth over a mesh and the Boys were whacking it with sticks. I feel bad about this and I do not understand. Why would those Boys be so gentle with me yet so cruel to a Birdie? Then the Daddy said, “We’d better get the bunster inside before it gets too dark we don’t want any forest predators sneaking around,” and then he brought me inside to the green surface. The wind was soft in the Trees and everyone was still laughing and clinking and roasting and talking Outside. I hopped into my wire House and had some nice carrots and then I fell asleep.
–Meghan Cox Gurdon, an NRO columnist, lives in Washington, D.C.