Most of you, I’m sure, have heard the joke about the horse walking into a bar and the bar tender asks: “So why the long face?”
But I bet you haven’t heard this one:
Three people walk into a store to buy quail bedding and leave with a pet rabbit.
Not a joke though, because it’s exactly what happened to us in July when a certain little bunny leapt out of his pen and straight into our hearts.
Here he is: Little Nate Bunnykins ~
Strange, despite the vast array of pets we’ve owned over the years, we’ve never had rabbits.
So why that day and why this particular bunny? Nobody could have been more surprised than I. We always stop to ooh and ahh at the cute bunnies; and the degus; and the hamsters and rats; and all the pets up for adoption. But it stops there. Until we saw Bunnykins.
Or rather, until he saw us.
He was alone, separated from the group of other bunnies in the pen next to him. Not knowing much at all about pet bunnies, but guessing he was young (he was, ten weeks young), we wondered out loud why he wasn’t with the others.
And while we wondered, that little bunny hopped over to us, stood up on his hind legs and wiggled his sweet nose, all the while pleading with his soulful, brown eyes, “Please take me home, I promise to be a good little bunny!”
What choice do you have when a bunny does that?
much anything about pet bunny ownership, we had a lot of questions to ask and discovered he was alone because he was the last of his litter. Nobody wanted him as he ‘wasn’t as pretty as his siblings’ who were fluffy and spotty and all that cutesy stuff.
We couldn’t believe it. To us, he is the most beautiful bunny in the world.
But because he was about to go up for adoption, we got all his vaccinations, health checks, microchipping and yes, even his neutering done for free, which was an added bonus we hadn’t expected. (We still would have taken him as we had already fallen in love, and yes, when I say ‘we’, that includes Hubby…).
Now six months old, Bunnykins is as adored as ever. He is naughty (already chewed through a wire or two), grumpy at times (he did just get neutered so who can blame him?), and impossible to catch when we let him loose in the living room.
But I get payback stroking his warm, silky fur as he snuggles up next to me of an evening, and my heart melts.
Eddie is very good, but mostly runs away from him:
Maisy loves to cuddle with him, sort of…
Bunny brings us great joy, not to mention laughter. While in France in September and struggling with my limited French in trying to explain to the hosts of our Gite that we had a pet rabbit, I realised that I told them we had a pet bread instead. (Got my ‘le pain’ and ‘lapin’ mixed up. C’est la vie…).
All in all, you could say we are Happy Bunnies.
Charli’s flash fiction prompt this week asks us:
‘In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that reveals or explores a moment of serendipity. How did it come about? What did it lead to? You can express a character’s view of the moment or on serendipity in general. Use the element of surprise or show how it is unexpected or accidentally good.’
What of this word ‘serendipity’? The Oxford dictionary defines it as:-
‘The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.’
Serendipity definitely played its part the day we met Bunnykins, for both human and animal. It’s played its part many times throughout my life, not least of all through blogging.
I think of my lovely blogging friend Patsy Parker who surprised me early last year by painting a copy of one of my photographs and naming it ‘Sherri’s Ocean‘ (I had never had anything painted for me, much less named for me before, it was a beautiful gesture).
Recently, she surprised me again by sending this delightful drawing of Bunnykins from a photo she’d seen on my Facebook page. I love it!
This post should have gone out yesterday, but the day’s frustrations and a late appointment put paid to that. And I was thinking how there have been times in my life when I’ve felt like little Bunnykins, separate from the ‘pack’, not knowing where I really belong, waiting for, well, for something…
It seems that serendipity had one last say for this post, and I needed to wait because this morning, I happened to read a little blurb about C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien and how they used to meet regularly at a well-known pub in Oxford with their writer friends, encouraging and inspiring one another.
And of course, out of those meetings, those two incredible authors eventually gave us The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings.
Reading this reminded me of a visit we took to Oxford some years ago and of having lunch in that very same pub, The Eagle and Child:
Life was relatively calm for me and my family that spring day in 2008, as it had been for some years after a sustained time of turmoil.
Sitting in that pub, with its tiny, dark rooms, the wood paneling permeated with the smell of smouldering firewood, I let my imagination run wild at the thought of Tolkein and Lewis sitting in that very same place decades earlier, smoking their pipes, drinking ale, chatting about their latest endeavours.
I listened to their whispers in the shadows of stories yet to be written, and wondered when that time would come for me, as I harboured long-held hopes of writing the book burning deep within my heart. But that day, it all seemed like a distant dream.
One day, I told myself, maybe one day…
But one day was a few years off, and when it arrived, it did so unexpectedly. More troubles awaited, but the day I walked out my job for the last time having been laid off, I had no way of knowing that actually, my boss had given me the best gift of all: my passport out of my rabbit pen, setting me free to chase my dream.
Wheels were already spinning, taking me to the place where I was meant to be. Because of all that happened in the years to follow, writing my book is no longer a dream, but a reality.
And I needed to be reminded of all this, as I asked myself how a post about a bunny, dreams and an old English pub made sense. We cannot possibly know what life may yet spring upon us, but along the way, we can cherish and be grateful for those moments of sweet serendipty.
Finally, and on that note, here is my flash, in 99 words, no more, no less. A bit more fun with Ethel and Fred and another certain visitor. Hope you enjoy:
His beady eyes watched as the back door slowly opened and a woman appeared, shotgun in hand.
She’d seen him.
“Keep still yer little sod…that’s right…” Ethel had him in her sights, about to pull the trigger, when startled by footsteps.
She zoomed round to face Fred.
“Ethel, please let me in, I’m cold and hungry!”
“What the…is that a nightie? Get in yer moron, we need words. But first…”
She swung back around but her prey had gone.
Safe in his burrow, he thanked his lucky moon that he hadn’t ended up a rabbit pie that night.
This post also is linked to Michelle’s Weekly Pet Share. Click on the link for more photos of beautiful creatures great and small!