I was snuggled in bed with my book for the night when I heard it.
It was so uniform in cadence it sounded more fake than real.
“Mom!” Lindsay shouted.
“I heard it!” Jack bolted out of his room.
With trepidation, I stepped inside Lindsay’s room with Jack at my heels.
Lindsay pointed, “Over there.”
The flip of our cat Mae’s tail was a red flag that danger was near. Slowly, I pulled back the tapestry that my trendy 16-year-old-daughter used to replace her traditional closet door.
Fearlessly, Jack got down on his hands and knees, “It’s just a squeaky toy.”
Lindsay protested, “I don’t have squeaky toys!”
“It’s this rubber thing right here,” he said reaching out.
“Aahh!” Jack flew backwards. “It’s not a toy! It’s a bunny.”
“Is he dead?” Lindsay asked.
Just then, the bunny made a run for it.
“NO! IT’S VERY MUCH ALIVE!” Jack screamed.
A darling bunny, small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, was hiding from Mae, who had delivered it to Lindsay via her jaws.
The energy in the room could have lit the Empire State Building. By my reaction alone, you would have thought it was a New York City urban rat.
“Mom, calm down, it’s just a bunny,” Jack said.
“IT. IS. A. WILD. ANIMAL,” I reprimanded him.
The wild bunny wildly hopped around looking for a hiding place, while I hopped around trying to find a suitable rescue box.
Jack pulled furniture into the middle of the room.
Lindsay balked, “I spent all day cleaning my room.”
Box in hand, I asked, “Where did it go?”
“Over there,” Jack pointed. “Here, you hold the light and I’ll get it inside the box.”
With the finesse of a big game hunter, Jack captured the bunny and carefully handed it up to me. When I took hold, the bunny jumped. I panicked. Then, like an erupting volcano, I spewed the box up in the air, catapulting the bunny upward, causing it to ricochet off the bedpost on its way down.
“Now it’s a flying squirrel,” I joked.
We started pulling things out from under Lindsay’s bed, in search of the bunny.
“I’ll get another box,” I said, “one with less room for it to move around.”
By chance, a used box was by my feet. I yanked off the dangling pieces of shipping tape.
Rolling his eyes with exasperation, Jack grabbed the box and, with a piece of cardboard, gently coaxed the frightened bunny inside. “I got it. Out of my way.”
Suddenly, as Jack shot up, the bottom of the box opened, sending the bunny to the carpet like an elevator free fall.
Jack jumped so as not to step on the bunny, which upset Lucky the dog who started nipping at Jack, while Mae took this opportunity to try and recapture the bunny.
“Hey, hey,” Jack mamboed to avoid the mammals.
With beady eyes, the bunny looked at me as if to say, “Thanks, but I’ll take my chances with the cat.” Jack got him in a third box and raced outside.
“Now where do we put it?”
I hesitated. “Over here, no over here, no.”
Jack dropped it across the street. With whatever life it had left, the bunny hopped away with reckless abandon.
Jack went back to bed, and Lindsay went back to cleaning her room – AGAIN – as she pointed out.
I settled back into a good night’s read.
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