Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Curious Case Of Flopsy The Rabbit, Our Family Pet

Flopsy in the arms of Abram. Safe, secure and not on the lam.
With 14 kids, I always feel like I have plenty of mouths to feed. So we don't have pets. Well, I'm also allergic to dogs and cats so maybe that has something to do with it. We don't have pets, that is, with one exception.

Flopsy the rabbit. We acquired Flopsy a few years ago from friends and she is a very fine pet. Some neighbors gave us a rabbit hutch after we moved into this house and she spends her evenings in there nice and cozy and snug and warm. Mostly, but we will get to that story in a bit.

After we got Flopsy, Taylor made a portable "bunny tractor" -- essentially a cage that you can move around the yard so she can munch on the grass, dandelions, occasional chives and other herbilicious treats -- and we move her around the yard doing the day. She eats the grass and fertilizes it. It's mutually beneficial, I guess you'd say.

She's also something of a neighborhood mascot. I've had people, when I describe my house, say, "Oh, I know the one. You have the bunny!" Yes, we have the bunny. And she has us. Mostly.

There's been several times Flopsy has escaped her hutch. One time in winter there was snow on the ground and we had no idea where she was because obviously she blends. We sent out a search party to canvass the neighborhood to no avail. Then later that morning a neighbor in a Jeep Cherokee who lived a couple of blocks away dropped her off. The snow was so deep, he nearly got stuck trying to pull out of the driveway. What an adventure. What a good neighbor.

When we went to Kentucky we left Flopsy and her rabbit tractor with some good friends who live in a neighborhood several miles away. A couple of years ago, when Flopsy and Mopsy were siblings and roommates, we left the bunnies with our friends. Alas, Mopsy escaped and was never heard from or seen again. I hope Mopsy is in a better place.

This time, Flopsy somehow managed to escape and made a dash for freedom sometime during the night. She was gone all day, an extensive search of the neighborhood turning up nothing. Our friends were crushed. How could this happen again?

The next morning, a Sunday, as my friend was about to text me, he looks in the yard and who should he see there munching on the grass? Why Flopsy, of course! It was all hands on deck as the family corralled Flopsy then placed her in a "more maximum security enclosure," as my friend described it. Let's just say Fort Knox is probably less secure. Our friends believe they have figured out her subversive methods and assure me that this will be the last time she escapes their supervision.

Yet Flopsy's story takes a strange, mysterious twist. There is a Houdini element to to this rascally rabbit. While we were in South Carolina last week, we left Brenton in charge of her. Let me preface this by saying that Brenton is a responsible, caring lad who only wants the best for Flopsy and is very interested in her safety, security and even well being. But whether it was loneliness, or boredom, or a hankering for mischief on Flopsy's part, Brenton returned home one afternoon to find her MIA from the rabbit tractor.

A quick search of the nearby woods turned up Flopsy and he was able to fetch her and return her to her hutch. I believe he put her in a "timeout."

Flopsy's adventures were far from concluded, however. The second Flopsy freedom dash remains shrouded in mystery. All anyone in the Sabo house knows is that he had left her in her rabbit tractor in the morning. When he opened the front door after getting back from work late that afternoon, who should greet him in the living room?


Did she let herself in? We don't think so because the doors were all closed and she's not tall enough to reach the door handles. Did she sneak in through a window? Again, we don't think so. The windows were all shut.

The only thing we can surmise is that after bolting from the rabbit tractor, a concerned or perhaps exasperated neighbor managed to catch her and deposit her in the relative safety of our living room. Because Brenton assures us he did not leave her in the living room before he went to work. We actually believe him.

But the legend of Flopsy grows.

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