I saw the first one of the season just about a week ago, while driving along a back road on the blackest of nights. Through an infernal, eternal, cold Carolina rain, my headlight beams caught a flash of brown, a glimpse of white cottontail zigzagging like lightning off to the right.
—Spring is near.
The cheery thought sent me into a rabbit reverie.
My husband used to tell our boys when they were small that fog was really the rabbits making soup. I immediately envisioned hundreds of tiny cast-iron pots over miniature campfires out in the woods, with rabbits meticulously stirring and stirring the steaming contents—Where’d you get this fanciful idea? I asked. My husband smiled: It’s what my father used to tell me. To this day, our sons, grown men, look outside on a foggy day and nod sagely: “Rabbits making soup again.”
Baby rabbits hung out on our porch during the spring I was expecting the second of the two boys. The older one, seven turning eight, sat at the windows of his baby brother’s nursery-in-progress to watch them up close: Look, Mom, look! There they are! Easter bunnies!
I decorated the nursery with a Peter Rabbit theme.
The first good animal drawing that I ever did, that my first-grade classmates sincerely complimented, was of a rabbit. I didn’t tell them I’d traced it, as that seemed a totally insignificant point at the time.
I recalled my father mentioning the local radio station of his 1940s childhood, WRRF. He said it stood for We Run Rabbits Fast.
Life runs faster than rabbits, doesn’t it, Daddy. Too, too fast.
With that, all my rabbit thoughts left me as rapidly as they came.
Until I promptly stumbled upon this garden photo with two baby bunnies nestled in a head of—cabbage?
So that’s what this is about. I am clearly dealing with a motif.
Okay, Bunnies, I acknowledge you, your contribution to my life, your secret culinary arts, your near-omnipresence in children’s literature, your real and mystical connections to springtime, even your voracity.
I’m grateful for you.
I’m also thankful that I don’t have a garden for you to destroy, just saying.
And I am really, really sorry that I carried around that rabbit’s foot (dyed aqua) when I was nine. It wasn’t lucky anyway; that’s the year I broke my arm . . .
Seems I’ve long since redeemed myself, little friends.