Short Stories. Bugs The Bunny by Lance Manion.
I guess we all carry around a little baggage that makes us more sensitive to issues than we’d otherwise be. In my case it was a story I read about a puppy mill. It had me furious.
For those of you lucky enough not to know what a puppy mill is let me pull the shades from your eyes. A puppy mill is a place that breeds dogs with no thought given to their bloodlines. They take the same few dogs and have them crank out puppies, even if they are related. In the end this causes all sorts of inbreeding and a whole slew of related health issues. If you buy a dog at a mall it’s almost guaranteed that your puppy will have a host of genetic problems that will ensure a shorter-than-expected life filled with medical troubles.
Why is this topic such a sore subject for me?
Because when I was younger I bought a rabbit from a pet store at the mall and it was obvious from the beginning that this rabbit’s family tree was short a few branches. Or any branches.
For starters he was blind in one eye and only had partial vision in the other. His ears were different lengths and for some reason his large legs were up front.
Take a minute to imagine him if you will.
This leg arrangement made walking a bit of a task and painful to watch. Half the time he would flip backwards in the air. Heaven help us if he was the Easter Bunny. Those eggs would never get delivered.
“Here comes Peter Cottontail … hopping down the bunny trail … eventually.”
One day. Two. Three days after Easter and still no sign of the first egg.
Speaking of Easter eggs, he had testicles the size of tennis balls. When he leaned back it looked like he was sitting in a beanbag chair.
That wasn’t even the worst of it.
Somehow his DNA blueprints must have been upside down because his mouth and his ass were switched. Anyone witnessing him eat would be traumatized for days.
“Look at that rabbit. It looks like he’s slowly sitting on that carrot . Wait a minute … is that? … look at the carrot … oh my god. No. No!”
My rabbit was a mess.
The his ass and mouth thing the worst part?
The worst part was what happened when I tried to pet him. I wanted him, and the universe, to know that a few dozen maladies generously dished out by the callous hand of fate would not impact the love I felt for my pet. Every time I attempted to show said love by petting him large chunks of fur would come off in my hand. Him looking up at me forlornly with his one good, albeit usually dripping, eye.
That was the worst part. Perhaps all that fur was why the hand of fate got so callous in the first place. Chicken and egg stuff I guess.
That was his name.
Not after the famous bunny but because his skin was always crawling with parasites. No amount of tick sprays or flea baths would stem the tide of critters that called his pelt home.
Luckily for everybody involved he was eaten at a young age by a two-headed wolf that escaped from the wolf mill up the road.
That’s all folks.