Monday, March 25, 2013

Bunnies I have known and loved

If you've read this post, you know that I carted around a blanket as my security object when I was a child. 

Before I carried the blanket(s), though, I had a stuffed bunny.  Remember The Velveteen Rabbit?  For those of you that haven't read it (And shame on you if you haven't.  It's a wonderful story), it's about a rabbit that was loved so much he became real.  My rabbit was a lot like the rabbit in the story:  he wasn't much to look at, but I loved him.  He was grungy and threadbare and misshapen from being carried around by a little girl all the time. 
It looked just like this one, except mine was white--well, it started out white anyway.  The fur got shabby and the satin in the ears wore thin.  Even though my mom washed it, it was no longer white.  I didn't care what it looked like; I just loved it.  I carted it around with me everywhere, until a fateful trip to visit my grandparents in Oklahoma. 

Both sets of my grandparents lived in Oklahoma, so we went to visit as often as we could.  Back in those days, the massive interstate highways didn't exist.  So what is now a four-five hour trip, was then more like a six-seven hour trip.  We stopped at least once on the way up, usually at a cafe in Duncan, Oklahoma.  On this trip, I accidentally left my bunny behind!  Of course, I didn't realize it until we were well on the way.  We stopped on the way back, thinking to pick it up.  This was the 1960s--a kindler, gentler time; someone had surely found the ragged bunny and put it aside realizing that it was obviously a favorite toy.  To my horror (and my parents' too) there was no bunny at the restaurant.  We queried our waitress, who said she hadn't seen the rabbit.  With nothing left to do, we were about to leave.  As we started to walk out the door, another waitress pulled us over and told my mom that she had seen the bus boy throw my rabbit away. 

I was devastated, and my mom was angry!  But there was nothing that could be done about it; the rabbit was long-gone.  My parents bought me a new bunny when we got home, but it wasn't the same.  That's when I switched to carrying around blankets instead.  And we never stopped at that restaurant again! 

I still love stuffed rabbits, though.  Every year around Easter, I find myself adding at least one to my collection.  When I started writing this post, I searched on eBay to see if I could find a 1960s-era rabbit.  Sure enough, I found the one pictured above.  And while it wasn't mine, at least I can give this one a good home! 

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