Childhood Memories Friday: Rabbits

Rabbits have always been part of my life. We have two now, and I had pet rabbits as a child as well. You may recall the memorable tale of how I “earned” one of my childhood rabbits.

My dad often tells the story of how, when I was maybe in first grade, I brought home a school worksheet. I had missed one, and he was asking me why I missed it. Apparently we had to listen to the teacher and cross out the picture she instructed. For the one I missed, I was supposed to cross out a rabbit picture, “but I just couldn’t make an “x” through the cute little bunny!”

Our rabbits then (unlike our house rabbits now) lived outside in hutches. When the weather got really bad, my dad would bring them into the garage, but I don’t recall that happening very much.

We had a five acre field behind our house, which was planted much of the year, and some of my scariest childhood memories involve a few times when a rabbit would get loose and go into the field. Amazingly, the family was always able to find the runaway rabbit and capture him or her. What a relief!

My aunt and frequent commenter Elaine shares a memory of me (which incidentally I have no memory of – that’s why it’s great to hear others’ memories!):

Once when I was visiting in your house on the main highway, the split-level one, one of you girls took me back to the rabbit hutch to show me the bunny, which I believe was Thumper. You then proceeded to give me a sex education lesson about a male bunny jumping on a female bunny and then she would have babies, etc. I was very surprised that you knew the facts about the birds and bees because you wouldn’t have been more than 8 or so, I think. I remember going back into the house and telling your mom about it. As I recall, she didn’t say much in response. I’m still wondering whether it was your dad or your mom who had given you that lesson.

I do remember us “borrowing” someone’s male rabbit one day to put with our rabbit so she would have babies. The whole thing didn’t go too well as I recall she ended up eating some of the babies once they were born and it was kind of a mess.

But, I continued enjoying rabbits. They were one of my top choices for drawings (and I would usually include the obligatory pile of droppings beneath their cage in my pictures).

When I was in junior high, the rabbits seemed less interesting, and we gave them to a willing friend of mine. As I recall, about a year later, they had all died, which I felt bad about (even though it could have happened even had we kept them).

Did you have childhood pets?

4 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Rabbits

  1. I didn’t expect you to quote me verbatim, Susan! But I’m honored!

    I see you lived through the stress of yesterday. I’m glad.

  2. As a seasoned crazy-cat lady, you know I had pets!! loll–no rabbits though. My cousin had one and a duck, too! The duck was mean–the only time I remember my Grandmother getting physical with anything was when that duck tried to bite her–she slammed that thing with her Queen Elizabeth- style “pocketbook” and it learned a thing or two about R-E-S-P-E-C-T!!!
    FYI–I’ve been off a few days, left you a follow up comment at my blog! 🙂

  3. I had a pet mouse. The mouse was gray and had a sweet personality. I took the mouse to school with me in 6th grade and let it run around in my desk. I really loved my mouse, she was a sweet little companion. I also remember having dogs, cats and goldfish.

  4. Pets, outdoor ones only, were always present on our Indiana farm. Mostly, the pets were dogs and barn cats.
    My most beloved dog was a little rusty-colored Cocker Spaniel named “Brownie” (not very original, I must say!), but very cute and loving. I don’t think that I named the kittens, or if I did I have forgotten about that 60 years later. The saddest part of having pets on the farm was the fact that they often got run over by tractors or other farm equipment, or else they died due to illness/natural causes. Of course, we never took them to a vet for all of the proper shots and such. We were way too poor for that, unless we once in a great while had a veterinarian come out to the farm for a sick milk cow, since it was part of our livelihood. I did have one small Jersey cow named “Toots” that I considered a pet. Dad even allowed me to milk her by hand occasionally. I was always a tom boy who spent much time shadowing my father until he died when I was eleven. I loved playing in the hay mow and walking the barn beams and swinging on the hay ropes!
    My grandfather Rupert always gave me a baby lamb each Spring to bottle feed and raise until it was ready to be out on its own. At Easter I usually got 2 or 3 baby chicks to pet and cuddle. They are so cute when they are still yellow and fuzzy and only make cheeping noises (as opposed to clucking hens). Thanks, Susan, for bringing back so many memories of my youth. Can’t wait until next week!

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