The rosy-cheeked woman went on vacation and asked my mother to check in on her bird, and of course the bird died under mother’s care (she isn’t terribly skilled in the art of keeping stuff alive- although I continue to believe that the bird died of natural causes). At any rate, one day it just crawled under its paper and went to sleep. Mother was flabbergasted, but the neighbor handled it well.
The giant cage sat in our backyard, an object of curious dread for my friend Phillip and me. Phillip lived across the street. He was blond and happy and average, and I envied him fiercely.
One day as we romped around the backyard we saw a flash of brown and white. Holy cow! A rabbit! We jumped up and down and ran into the house and breathlessly told my mother all about it. It was probably mother that put the idea of catching it into our heads. Mother and I share a very similar sense of humor.
Having seen many 80’s fantasy movies about women and nature, Phillip and I staked out the yard from the porch, leaving lettuce and such just beneath the porch steps. We thought that while it was eating I could walk over and hold out my hand, then it would hop over and that would be that. As an adult I know that if I had managed to get close, it would have bitten me and given me The Rabies, but I was too taken with the Unicorn scene in Legend to understand that.
As one might have expected, this strategy didn’t work. Having now been tantalized by glimpses of its soft fur we were more determined than ever. We decided it was time to be scientific, so we climbed the steps to my neighbor’s apartment and told her excitedly that we had spotted a rabbit. Brown with a white butt, and we would catch it in her cage, if she’d let us.
She obviously thought that we were not going to be able to figure out how to catch a rabbit, so she tolerantly agreed to let us use her cage.
We got string and pulleys from my science kit and a carrot from Phillip’s mother and set to work. Toiling all day, we made a rabbit trap that Wile E. Coyote would be proud of. At dusk Phillip’s mother called him in for dinner and I was about to go into the house when I remember the carrot. Phillip would be at church all morning and wanted to me to wait for him to get home before setting our trap. I ran back to the cage, crawled inside and was promptly hoisted by my own petard.
I yelled for my mom for a while and eventually gave up. Then it started to rain. I’m not sure how much time passed, but it was full dark when I started crying. It's scary when you’re little and trapped in a bird cage in the dark. Eventually my mother came out and found me. She was laughing so hard at my pitiful situation that she took forever to get the cage open.
The next day I told Phillip that I didn’t think that the rabbit would like to live in a cage and we scampered off to a new adventure.