Four Years and Four Bunnies

Angela Christoforos

© Copyright 2005 by Angela Christoforos


      I walked into the hospital room, excited and anxious to see my mom and my new baby brother. The hospital room looked welcoming and inviting, with flowers and balloons in it, reading congratulations on them for the new addition to the family.

     When I saw her I squealed, "Mom! How are you feeling? How is the baby?" My mom exclaimed, "Hi! I'm feeling better then before, I'm still in a little bit of pain but I'm just tired I need to get some more rest. Come and look at the baby, your new baby brother! He's so cute."

     My mom was on a hospital bed in the middle of the room, holding him. She looked tired, as if she hadn't slept for days, but there she was on the hospital bed with a smile that could light up the sky. Her skin glowed like a luminous star in the night, and you could see the happiness she was feeling. My baby brother looked so fragile and tiny. He looked delicate and fragile, like a small glass statue. You have to be very careful with them, as you do with glass, because all it takes is one wrong move to harm or hurt it. I was so nervous to hold him because he was so fragile and I was scared I would make a wrong move. I held him when I was sitting in the chair next to the hospital bed. I've been to the hospital several times to see my new cousins and I got to hold them too. But this feeling was a different one. It was a feeling I had never felt before; it was a feeling of joy. This feeling I felt is one that is hard to explain, it was like several different emotions combined into one. I felt excited, to bring this new baby home, anxious, to see what life with a little baby would be like; scared, that I was going to drop him; and happy that I was going to be his sister, his only sister. The baby that I was holding was a new addition to our family. He is my baby brother. In just a couple days, my mom and my baby brother could come home. I was very excited thinking about my mom being home again, with a new baby. It was very exciting and at the same time it made me wonder. It made me wonder what he was going to look like in two more years, what he would look like when he turns thirteen, what he'll be like, if his eyes will change color, what kind of personality he'll have, and several other things. Then, when I was wondering about all of those things my mind suddenly drifted off, and it wandered to an experience with bunnies that happened four years ago. When I was holding my baby brother, he reminded me of the experience with the bunnies and it took me back into the past. Four years ago, I would've never thought that I would have a new baby brother. When I thought of these bunnies they made me think about my baby brother. Suddenly, I went into a dozing state and my mind was flashing back and I was taken back four years mentally and physically in my thoughts.

     I've always loved bunnies and other cute animals ever since I was younger. I love puppies, kittens, birds, and many more animals. I love bunnies because they are cute and my flashback is a story of my experience with bunnies. My house is near the woods so there are always a lot of wild animals around. At nighttime, sometimes I may see a skunk or possum running across my back yard. Sometimes I even see raccoons, big and ferocious, digging through my trash. During the daytime I frequently see birds and squirrels. During the nicer seasons like spring and summer, I see bunnies continuously outside in my backyard and around the neighborhood. I even see cute little baby bunnies hopping around. When we have carrots, I give a couple of them to the bunnies. A mother rabbit had even chosen a place in my backyard as her nesting spot for her baby bunnies. I've had quite a few experiences with animals but this is one that I won't forget.

     It was a beautiful spring day when I was about 8 years old. The sun was shining and the birds were singing cheerfully. In my backyard, I have a porch. My mom asked me to water the flowers that were on the porch, because they were beginning to look dried up and wilted, almost like a raisin. So I started watering the flowers as she had asked. Underneath my porch, there is a little area where the floor of it is rocks. On these rocks, weeds tend to grow. As soon as I was done watering the flowers my mom asked me to go underneath the porch and take out all of the weeds on the rocks. So that's exactly what I did. But while I was pulling out the weeds that were growing in between the little rocks, I heard a faint squeaking noise. This noise sounded like the sound that you hear when you squeeze a rubber toy, except much fainter and softer. It reminded me of a rubber duck. I ignored it and continued pulling out the weeds. Just when I thought I was done, I noticed I missed a whole area that was full of weeds. While I was pulling out the weeds the squeaking noise became louder and I noticed that there was something that looked like it made of hay and little pieces of grass all compacted into what appeared to be shaped like a small bowl. Then I realized the squeaking noise came from little tiny creatures that looked like baby mice inside this nest.

     I was only eight so I panicked and ran upstairs to tell my mom. "Mom, you won't believe what I found underneath the porch!" My mom responded and said, "What did you find? What is it?" I screamed back, "There are animals living under here! Look at them! They look like rats!"
My mom and I thought that they were baby rats. We peaked through the cracks of the porch to see these "baby rats." They were squeaking because when I was watering the flowers, some of the water dripped onto them like water leaking out of a gutter. We continued to hear the squeaking noises until me and my mom decided to go take another look at them. I went underneath my porch and looked at the "baby rats". I could tell that they must've been born recently because their eyes hadn't even opened yet and they were so tiny.

     When I looked closely at them, I noticed that they had tiny little ears... almost like a bunny. I said, "Mom look at their ears...." My mom said, "Angela, I think we've made a mistake- they have ears like a bunny!"

     Then we realized that they weren't baby rats, they were baby bunnies! These baby bunnies were small enough to fit into the palm of my hand. They were palm size, and the color of a light creamy brown, like milk chocolate. Their little ears were no bigger then half the size of my pinky, and their ears were as thin as a sheet of paper. Their little tails were tiny too, about the size of my pinky nail. The baby bunnies were all compacted and snug close together, like two lovebirds trying to keep warm in the winter.

     I was very excited about these bunnies. I've always liked bunnies and then I suddenly had five baby bunnies that live in my backyard. This excitement I felt was even more exciting to me then winning a lottery or going to an amusement park. Those feelings of excitement fade, but the kind of excitement that I felt was one that I'll remember and will stay with me forever. It was a great feeling to wake up every morning and know that I have 5 baby bunnies of my own that I get to care for. It was a feeling I experienced as a child that I'll never forget.

     The place underneath my porch was such an odd nesting place for a rabbit to nest her babies. First of all, it was on top of rocks and I would generally think that a mother would nest her babies in a soft gentle area. Even with the materials that the mother rabbit used to make the nest, it still wouldn't be all that comfortable because the rocks were hard. The mother chose to nest her babies in a very strange area. But it didn't bother me. I took care of the baby bunnies like they were my own. I fed them carrots and lettuce everyday and put hay in their nest to make it softer for them. Their eyes finally opened and they were growing bigger. My brother and me named the bunnies Flopsy, Mopsy, Peter, Cottontail, and Carrot. These bunnies were always jumping around all over the place. I would even take them for walks on a tiny leash. The bunnies were full of energy, like we are when we're on a sugar high from eating too much sugar. They're fun pets and we enjoyed taking care of them. Sometimes in the morning when I checked on them one or two of them would be missing. I would be frantically looking for them, like I had lost a prized possession, only to find them eating grass in my backyard. They were now hopping around on their own so my uncle gave me a cage that I could keep them in during the night so I could be sure that they wouldn't wander off.

     One morning, when I checked on the bunnies, I noticed that one of them was just sitting in a corner of the cage. The other bunnies were hopping around energetically and one was just sitting alone by itself in the corner, as a little child is when they are put in time out. I put carrots and lettuce in the cage for the bunnies to eat and they were all eating except for the one bunny sitting in the corner. I knew that something was wrong with that bunny. The bunny was motionless. It looked as if it were a stuffed animal, having no motion unless motion was given to it. I put my hand in the cage to take him out. When I was holding him in my hand, I noticed he had a hole in his stomach and his guts were hanging out, like his insides were turned inside out. It looked at me, as if to tell me that something was wrong.

     I ran towards my mom right away and said, "Mom, come and look at the bunny; something is wrong with it." My mom came towards me and I showed her the bunny, and she exclaimed, "Angela, it looks like its guts are sticking out, something must have bitten it! I think you should go next door and tell Uncle Teddy to come over and look at it."
    I immediately ran next door to get my uncle to come over and see the bunny. My uncle is really good with animals and even has quite a few himself, so I always go to him when I need help with them.

     I showed my uncle the bunny and he stated, "I wonder what happened to it. It looks like its' weak. I think the wound in its stomach is taking a big toll on it. I hope it lives. Looks like some wild animal must've attacked him during the night."

     It looked like something had bit the bunny in the stomach, like something had taken a big bite out of him as if he were a sandwich. I never found out what bit him, but we have an idea of what might've happened. The cage I kept the bunnies in, like any other cage, had bars and there were little square spaces. The bunnies would constantly jump up to the cage and their stomachs would be touching the cage. During this time it was summer, so I kept the cage outside because the weather was nice. I think that when the bunny was jumping up next to the cage, some wild animal, maybe a rat or possum was around the area of the cage and took a bite out of his stomach when it was leaning against the cage. I believe that's what probably happened to the bunny. I don't think that any of the other bunnies would do that to him, especially ones that are his siblings.

     I remember being very upset about the bunny's injury. I did as much I could to help it, but it was only a couple hours after discovering the hole in it's stomach that it died. It was devastating.

     I sulked, "I can't believe that the poor bunny died." "I know Angela, but these things happen in life. I think that it's best that you let the other bunnies go so the same thing doesn't happen to them," My mother advised.

     My brother and I put the bunny in a shoebox and buried him in our backyard. We buried him underneath a fake bunny that my mom had in the backyard for decoration. Now there were only 4 baby bunnies. Only Flopsy, Mopsy, Peter, and Cottontail remained. Fear arose within me after Peter the bunny died. I was scared that a wild animal might do something like this to the other bunnies too. Even though I didn't want to my mom, my brother and I decided that we should let the bunnies go. I'd never want something like that to happen to the other bunnies too, so we let them out of the cage. It was heartbreaking for me, but I would've rather let them go in good condition rather then keep them and have them get attacked by wild animals too. Before hopping away and living independently on their own, some of the bunnies hesitated and came back to me. I wanted so badly to keep them still; and it was hard to let them go, but I knew that it was something I had to do, even though restraining to keep them wasn't easy.

     My mom said to me, "I think that letting the other bunnies go is the right thing to do, Angela."

     Even after we let them go, the bunnies were constantly around my house and in my backyard. When my mom saw them in the backyard, she'd scream, "Angela come quick! The bunnies are here! Go into the kitchen and get them some carrots!"

 I used to give them carrots everyday and they would come every afternoon. It became like routine to feed the bunnies every day. They must've really gotten used to me because they would always come for their carrots. When the weather got colder and the seasons changed, the bunnies didn't come as often because it was too cold for them. But as soon as spring and summer came along, the nice weather did too, and I would see the bunnies around in the neighborhood again.

     While this may seem like a cute experience, it is the significance of it that really makes it memorable. Four years after this experience with the bunnies, my baby brother was born. To me, this is significant to the four bunnies. It's like the four bunnies were a sign that in four years, my baby brother would be born. This is why my mind drifted back to this memory in the hospital room because my baby brother reminded me of the 4 bunnies. There were originally five bunnies, but one of them died. To me the significance of this bunny dying is one year sooner that my baby brother would come. I really believe that the four bunnies were God's way of saying that in four years, something in significance will happen. The great thing that happened was my brother's birth. On my porch, right above the place where I first found the bunnies in their nest, there is a small statue of an angel holding a bunny. The angel is small, with short blonde curly hair; rosy pink lips, chubby little cheeks, and a smile that could make you forget all of your problems. The angel kind of looks like and resembles my baby brother. It's like the angel is my baby brother and the bunny he is holding is the one that passed away. We had this small statue of the baby holding the bunny way before my little brother was born. To me this is like fate. My baby brother is an angel himself and he is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

     Since then, we still see bunnies occasionally outside my neighborhood. By now, I'm sure that the bunnies have had babies and become grand rabbits. Maybe they have passed away by now too. But whenever I see a bunny it always reminds me of the five bunnies that I had years ago. The funny thing about all of this is that the first sheets and tiny pillows my baby brother had in his crib was a bunny theme with Peter Cottontail. I have pictures of myself holding the baby bunnies and I'll always have memories of them forever. I will cherish the pictures and the memories forever, and no one can ever take that away from me. I'll always remember the bunnies and someday when my little brother grows up, I'll tell him about them too.

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