Yard Sale Bunny
There she sat, surrounded by other discards–chipped dishes, rusted lawn furniture, books with yellowed edges, a grime-encrusted lawn mower. The small, hand-printed sign stuck on the cage read “White rabbit with cage, $10.00.”
With cage. The wood floor sat directly on the steaming asphalt; the hot July sun beat down through the open wire mesh top. There was no padding, no water. The poor little thing was literally being broiled alive. The route to the laundromat took me right through the middle of the yard sale. I stopped and said to the people, “You ought to put that rabbit in the shade. She will die out here in this heat.” I probably wasn’t as polite about it as I could have been.
The small bunny preyed on my mind while I loaded the washers, waited for them to fill, added soap. I argued back and forth with myself: You can’t take in another animal right now. You have a full house. You’re out of work, limping along on unemployment compensation. How would you pay for veterinary treatment if it were necessary?
But what will happen to her when the next family gets tired of her? Will she be turned loose, euthanized, fattened up for dinner?
I went back and asked if I could hold her while my clothes were washing. She lay in my arms and snuggled against me. (I referred to her as a “she” even though as yet I wasn’t sure.) I asked the people how old she was. They didn’t know. “It” had been the kids’ Easter bunny. Was it a boy or a girl? They didn’t know. What was its name? It didn’t have one (they hadn’t cared enough to give it a name).
Full house and lack of funds aside, I knew I had to adopt this bunny. I reminded myself that I didn’t have a ton of animals, just four, and also, I was only temporarily out of work. I explained that I had brought only quarters with me, for the machines, but as soon as the laundry was finished I would go home, get the money, and come back for her. Would they please not sell her to someone else?
We named her Quigly, the name of the street that the yard sale was on. She settled right in and everyone got along. There was no difficult adjustment period. It would be more accurate to say she moved in and took over. From the very first, she was the aggressive one, the inquisitive one, the mischievous one. She was the only female in a household of male animals. Queen Quigly.
A visit to the doctor had proved that she was in fact a “she,” was about 4 months old, and was in good health. She breezed through her spay. That was nearly a year ago. Since then, she’s grown into a beautiful big rabbit with a delightful personality.
Like everyone, I have accumulated a lot of things I now no longer use or want. I need to have a yard sale. But Quigly will not be part of it.
House Rabbit Journal Volume III, Number 8, Summer 1996