When we were kids, we had a live trap by the garden to catch the rabbits that pilfered our produce. It was a homemade one that was pretty effective at capturing the little varmints.
My stepdad, Paul designed and built it with two by twos and the leftover wire mesh from our rabbit cages. It wasn’t efficient at first, but with some R&D and a little trial and error, we had it working pretty fine.
Here is a professional looking blueprint
So I would have to check the trap each day when I got home from school and dispatch the usually wild rabbit in the trap. It was not a great feeling when you slide the barrel through the mesh, but we couldn’t let them go and eat all our vegetables. I would always try to get as close as possible, so it would make less noise and be a clean kill.
Until one day
I got home and there was the cutest little cottontail in the trap. It wasn’t wild though. I put the gun down and put on my leather gloves. (I didn’t want it to bite me as I was petting it.)
It was so tame. I picked it up and cradled it in my arms. It absolutely loved me. I was stroking its fur and it was vibrating (Probably with the emotions of finally finding its boy.) I decided that we wouldn’t be eating this bunny. It was going to be my pet.
I went to the garage and found an empty beer case. I threw a bunch of grass in it for the bunny to eat and then closed up the top so he wouldn’t hop out when we went into the house.
While we were in the basement, I called my mom at work to tell her about my new pet. She started to get a little heated when I answered her question as to where the rabbit was right then.
“Jesus Christ, get that thing out of the house before Paul gets home! They are full of lice and all kinds of other bugs.”
“Mom, I’ve already been petting him. He doesn’t have any bugs.” I said as I looked down at my hand and closely studied the skin.
Oh great. My skin was crawling with something but it was too small
It was right about then that I saw and heard the beer case starting to pop around the floor. Then the top blew open and that rabbit came flying out with the fear of death in its face.
After stammering a bit on the phone, my mom asked if the rabbit was loose in the house. I couldn’t lie my way out of this one.
“Yeah, but it’s okay.”
I tried to make it seem like everything was cool as I watched a ball of fur start racing the length of the house, stretch out and completely clear the couch, slamming headlong into the fake wood panel wall, right under the window.
“I gotta go, Mom, I’ll get it out of here.” I had about fifteen minutes before Paul pulled into the driveway.
I sprinted to the corner where the rabbit would have landed but it was a lot quicker than I was. It shot itself into the wall behind the TV. I started pulling the TV stand away from the corner but it was already on its way down the other long wall. This time it didn’t slam into the wall, it just rounded the corner and started towards the couch again.
This time it was a little closer to the window, which was probably five feet up the wall. That’s when I realized the bunny was trying to escape but the couch was in the way and it didn’t know that it could jump off the couch and easily make it.
Well, easily hurtle through the two panes of glass and most likely get sliced to bits, ten minutes before I got a spanking and had to go cut some lawns to pay back the $15 it would probably cost to replace the two windows.
I also could foresee me cleaning up all the blood and having to putty the new glass into the frames.
I grabbed the beer case and ran to the window as the bunny went back for another leap of freedom. I waited there as it made it over the couch and right into my cardboard catcher’s mitt.
The fight was on!
I immediately crumpled the box around its body and started running for the stairs. It clawed its way free and popped its head out of the box and screamed wildly at me. It was frightening.
Not as frightening as when I tripped at the bottom of the stairs and my face pressed into the box as we both went into the netherworld for a split second of screams mixed with gnashing teeth and my mouth full of lousy rabbit fur.
By the time I reached the top of the stairs, I had the bunny by the scruff and it was flailing like Phil Robertson at a pride rally.
It was a few feet to the back door and I pushed it open it with the rabbit. Two more steps and I flung that thing out to the front yard. I watched it do a few circle jumps in the air and then shoot across the lawn, road, and ditch into the field near the creek.
I put the beer case back in the garage and went to the basement to put everything back where it was when the fiasco started. As I went back up the stairs, I heard Paul’s truck pulling in. I walked out to greet him in the driveway.
He got out of the truck and stared at me as he walked up to the house. Then he looked into the garage.
“What happened to your face?” He asked
I remembered the close encounter on the stairs. “I got into a little fight.”
He looked back into the garage and then asked, “With that beer case?”
“Uh, it was involved,” I replied.
“I don’t even want to know. Did we get anything in the trap?”
“It’s empty. The carrot is still on the hook and I’ll set it tonight.” I hoped that would be the end of it.
“Okay. I’m going to lay down for a while and then we’ll cut the lawn.”
I eagerly agreed to that sentence. It was far more lenient than the one I had envisioned earlier. I went to the washroom to look in the mirror and wash the parasites off of my hands.
There were some burning claw marks on my cheek, in addition to the bite on my lip that was starting to throb, but I doused everything with a couple foamy shots of peroxide and went out to finish my chores.
That was the last time that I tried to keep a wild animal as a pet, and the first time I changed the statement in the title to “Don’t let the rabbit out of the box.”
Thanks for reading and I would like to nominate @amberyooper and @smithlabs to partake in the merriment. You can learn more by checking out @comedyopenmic’s last post. It has a link to the rules and everything.