"Gimme the girl that's beautiful, without a trace of makeup of on,
Barefoot in the kitchen, singing her favorite song.
Dancing around like a fool, starring in her own little show,
Gimme the girl the rest of the world, ain't lucky enough to know."
~Joe Nichols, Gimme That Girl

...not saying that this is me,
but Nichols sure nailed it when
he wrote the barefoot in the
kitchen line!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Zajíčci: Bunnies

   Punchline: this post has nothing to do with food.  Now that I've established that fact, here's a secondary piece of crucial information.  This post has everything to do with bunnies.  Inedible bunnies.
   Granted, Annie's produces those little golden cheesy bunny crackers, and I work in a restaurant that serves rabbit as an actual food for actual consumption.  Yet, these bunnies of which I speak are a bit more grandiose.  In multiple regards.
   To be quite honest, I'm not overly attentive to my rabbits.  My oldest sister lovingly cares for my two little ones while I work.  Or don't work.  It's not intentional neglect; more properly termed, it's an easy surrender.  Oldest sister is kind, gentle, and works well with animals.  She also knows my heart when it comes to the bunnies, and I've never known her to care for them in any other manner than that in which I would.
   Back on the vein of my being a poor rabbit mother, I must confess that I feel even more guilty and ashamed of my lack of attention during Zimní: Winter.  It's wet and muddy out in the garden, and my hutch-pampered fluffies are both fastidiously tidy and clean.  Letting them out in a moist jungle of mud is mental cruelty for them...they will not rest until they are back in the hutch, and are licking away vigorously at their coats with tiny pink tongues.  No trace of dirt or earth is permissible to their immaculate selves.  Naturally, I've felt badly during this ongoing deluge of much-needed rain.  It means that the bunnies are cooped up for keeps until the sunshine reinstates itself.
   Being that the sunshine's reappearance is unpredictable, I am grateful to have had the chance to let the bunnies out last week before it rained.  I was at home, happily trimming dead scented geranium branches, and superfluous grapevines on the arbor.  It was sunny, and I was already in the garden, so it seemed only right to release the bunnies into the delights of the garden.  I am glad that I did.  I am even happier that I captured some photographs of them while they romped and sat in the sunshine.

   Both of my rabbits are actually indirect gifts from my great-grandparents'.  They sent me some money for my birthday, and again some at Christmas...something to spend on whatever I wanted.  I usually deposit extra cash, but on the heels of losing my dear Snuggles-bunny a year or so ago, life was lonesome without a rabbit. 
   Snuggles was a Polish dwarf, given to our family by a social worker who had been involved with my adoption.  I've always had an affinity for tiny things, and Snuggles was teeny-weeny.  She was white with black markings, petite upright ears, and a soul.  I knew she had a soul; she loved and understood with depth, and without words.  She was probably sixteen or seventeen when she finally passed, and it grieves me that she's no longer here to enjoy kisses, kale, and sunshine.
   The loss of my Schnuggs made me assume that another rabbit was a good idea.  Maybe I thought that I could recreate the magic of my bunny and me: with a different rabbit.  It didn't work, and I'm still wondering, with some bewilderment, why I have not bonded so deeply and intensely with Kainos and Lindsy.
   Kainos was the first rabbit I bought with the gift money.  She is a Polish dwarf, nearly identical to Snuggles, and the familiarity was healing.  I remember sitting in the car with Kainos while Mum and Abby were in Copperfields Bookstore.  Kainos was making nervous, strained grunting noises, communicating her insecurity and fear.  I talked to her, leaning back into the car's leather so that she could firmly dig her feet a flatter surface.
   I told her about her name, which is the ancient Greek word for time.  It was all about time and timing, I explained.  Time for me to learn to love again.  Timing that had been right when I saw her all alone in the cage, and I had the cash in my coat pocket.  Time...time...time.
   To this day, Kainos and I have a weird relationship.  She politely calls me a rough clod who can't pick a bunny up right (I beg to differ,) and I routinely remind her of her rotund shape.  I not-so-politely call her my Little Fat Football.  Literally, I could tuck her under my elbow, run down an entire field, and score a touchdown.  She's that compact.  I love her.  Remotely and irreversibly.
   Lindsy was a bunny that Mum found online.  It was a local listing from a family that needed to find a good home for their young lionhead rabbit.  I made the call, only to discover that the rabbit was named Becky.  Which is ludicrous, given my first name.  Logically, you cannot adopt a rabbit owned by an eleven year old girl who wants her darling little Becky to be loved in every fashion, with the bunny's name and status being considered unchangeable.  I plunked down the cash, reassured the girl that I would never eat her rabbit- like ever- and then changed the name on the way home.
   The previous family told me that the rabbit was Becky Linus.  The reasoning behind the name is non-existent.  So, taking the l-i-n from Linus, and the -y- from Becky, I created Lindsy.  To this day, Lindsy is still the lanky, silky soft rabbit I initially met.  The only change that I see in her is the continual growth of her mane, which as a lionhead rabbit, is her breed's mark of distinction.
   Lindsy bites, sniffs, and carouses.  She's spunky and hard-headed.  She's curious.  Everything that Lindsy is, Kainos is not.  It's a funny contrast, and it makes me love the bunnies all the more.  They traded personalities whilst I photographed them, strangely enough...Kainos being lively and energetic as Lindsy lounged around.
   For those who were not formerly aware of this fact, rabbits are therapeutic creatures.  I have found great calm and overwhelming peace in the mere action of kissing a bunny between the ears.  Between a bunny's ears you will find the softest, warmest fur.  Your eyes will close, and you will become connected to another living creature.  It is an exchange of vulnerability.  It is a collapse into tranquil simplicity.
   Another major bonus with rabbits is that except in times of extreme distress, bunnies are generally mute, silent animals.  I have never been fond of needless noise, and hence I have always been partial to bunnies for companions.
   Here's to Kainos, Lindsy, and Oldest sister's caring for them.  And here's to the eventual arrival of sunshine, when our desperate need for rain has been satiated.
The Barefoot Girl