At 7:30 am, I put on my running shoes and went into the back yard. There he was, under the honeysuckle lazily chewing a twig. I ran, he ran. As long as I didn't lose sight of him, I could always catch him eventually. So when the sprinklers came on, I chose to continue the pursuit rather than go to the garage to turn them off. Over an hour later, dripping wet, my hair full of twigs and leaves, and a heart full of hate, I was ready to end the war. Fat Lawrence had evaded all my traps, slipped through my wet fingers and bounded out of captures too many times and I was ready for the coup de grace. If I couldn't win the physical game, I could try to win the mental one. He sat crouched under the pomegranate tree, ready to spring away at my first move. Instead, I made the most horrific, hissing, growing noise I could conjure up. Let there be no question, I was pissed. Fat Lawrence shrank to the ground in horror and stayed perfectly still while I approached, slowly picked him up and put him in the brown cardboard box I'd prepared for the occasion. I couldn't believe it had worked.
I immediately called my kids and told them we were off to liberate Fat Lawrence. I loaded the box and the barefoot kids in the car and drove. They didn't understand. "Why is there mud on your face, Mom? Why are we getting rid of Lawrence, Mom?" "But I LOVE him, Mom!" I cheerfully explained that Fat Lawrence obviously didn't want to live in a cage and would be much happier at a large nearby park with all the ducks and grass. How could we not bring him to his new home? Fifteen minutes later, we arrived. It was just as I'd imagined it. A beautiful day, ducks swimming in the pond, a bunny in a box, my year long dream had finally come true. I parked the car and took Fat Lawrence out of his box to give him the grand tour of his new home. First off to the pond to show him where he'd be drinking. I couldn't help but notice an unleashed Labrador Retriever across the water. Then I looked around for some nice shady underbrush for his mid-day nap. I didn't immediately see a good shady spot and upon looking up, saw a clear, Vegas sky with two hawks lazily circling above the park.
I sat down with Lawrence on a bench. We were both still soaked clean to the bone after our morning chase. I picked a few twigs from my hair and he started grooming his wet fur. Now was the part where I put him down and left. A few months ago after a particularly long chase, I taught myself via YouTube the art of butchering and preparing a rabbit for stew. I've begged my husband to take his shotgun and finish the little guy off but he refused. And now was the day I would rid myself of this little beast. This stubborn beast who I'd rescued from a shelter last year after he'd been returned twice due to bad behavior. This crazy looking fluff ball who I'd tamed from a nasty, biting monster into a fast, fluffy genius. The only thing Fat Lawrence loves more than playing chase, is being held afterward and stroked until he begins his deep, rumbling bunny purr. Now was the part where I left him for good.
An hour later, the sun had almost dried me out. I called the kids back from the playground and told them I was ready to go home. A dry and well petted Fat Lawrence was coming with us. My girls were confused, and tried to reason with me that he really wanted to stay in this beautiful park. No, no, I said. It's too dangerous here. What if a dog gets him or a hawk grabs him? What if he doesn't like the taste of the pond water? What if he misses us? We definitely couldn't leave him at this park. All the things I hated about this bunny were the exact things that endeared him to me in the first place and that hour I'd spent with him on the bench had been a sort of second honeymoon. Darling husband Spike, I know as you read this you are rolling your eyes, but honestly, I just couldn't do it. I love my naughty bunny. There is such a fine line between love and hate. It's almost always the things we love most about someone which end up driving us nuts later on. But if we are honest with ourselves, it's not hard to fall in love again after taking a drive to the park and considering the alternative options. Love or hate, it's all just expressions of passion. What would life be without it?
Fat Lawrence + Hollywood = LOVE FOREVER!
Update: I came home that day and put him up on Craigslist to find an owner with a bit more level emotional status than mine. That night a very dear one-eyed Mongolian man fell in love with my fattie and took him off to live with his twenty other Lion Head bunnies. Farewell, my love!