Marvin Remembers His Gardens

OUR FRIEND Tom was taking a break from a construction job nearby. It was humid-hot, and we were all having that drink frogs are so fond of.

Phoebe, an English Spot, was foraging across our old rug when Tom’s friend Marvin spotted her. A memory-flash took him for a second, then he looked over at Tom and asked, “Did I ever tell you about my Peter..?”

“You’ve been on the road too long,” Tom laughed.

“Come on Tom, you know–Peter, my rabbit. The one who hopped into my backyard that spring when I was planting tomato seeds.”

So we all found out about Peter. How he joined Marvin’s family, lived for ten years, swam in the family pool, and helped plant the garden every spring. But what impressed us most was how Peter listened to Marvin.

“I was doing a framing job out of town, and one evening my wife called me up in my motel room.”

“Peter looks like he’s dying–I don’t think we can save him,” she said.

Marvin asked his wife to put the receiver up to Peter’s ear. “Don’t die yet, buddy,” he pleaded. “I’m coming.”

He got on a plane and flew home right away. Peter did indeed stay alive long enough for Marvin to get home.

For a few minutes we sat there and stared at Phoebe. Marvin and Tom seemed to be sweating some around the eyes. I got up to get refills but those frogs had beaten me to it.

©Copyright Bob Harriman. All Rights Reserved. Republished with the permission of the author.

This essay was first published in House Rabbit Journal Spring 1997: Volume III, Number 9

  • Bob Harriman

    Bob has lived with house rabbits for almost 40 years. He is the designer and illustrator of all five editions of The House Rabbit Handbook.

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