Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Herd of Rabbits

[memories evoked by the Sunday Scribblings prompt "Collector Personality]

My younger brother had a collection of rabbits, but not live ones.


It all started with a small wooden rabbit made in Africa that my parents brought home from a trip to New York City and a visit to the United Nations Building. I think it was from Kenya. It was dark wood with sleek lines. It really looked fast and it felt good to the hand. The next time my parents took a trip and asked if there was anything we wanted them to bring home, my brother asked for another rabbit.


After that, they started multiplying, yes, like rabbits. Family and friends of the family loved adding to the collection. He had rabbits made of glass, ceramic, wood, and stone. Some were tiny; others were a bit bigger. They came from all over the country and all over the world. Most of the time the rabbits lived on the dresser in my brother's room.


One spring (around Easter time) the local newspaper came and took a picture of my brother with his collection. Mom had moved the rabbits to the living room. There was one problem with having them in the living room. The low display table they were on put them within easy reach of my nephew who was then three years old. All the little shiny rabbits were very attractive to the little guy. Alert adults kept him away from the table, sometimes by a narrow margin.


Finally my nephew got lucky. He launched himself at the tabletop full of rabbits and actually reached it, knocking over most of the bunnies.


Rabbits were everywhere. One little glass bunny that had been in a glass bottle lost that bottle but came out with both ears in place. Some, however, needed the most common rabbit surgery, one at which we had become proficient. That surgery is best described as ear re-attachment. Some rabbits had one ear snapped off, a few had lost both, but all were reattached with a bit of glue and patience.


The collection came through largely unscathed and stayed out at least until my brother went to college. I'll have to ask him if he still has it today.

14 comments:

Jo said...

A lovely peep at family life. I laughed out loud at the multiplying like rabbits line.

~Kathryn~ said...

my frog collection multiplied like rabbits !!! we've also had a few surgeries on the frogs too

thanks for dropping by my scribble

sister AE said...

Hi, Jo. Thanks. I think it was Mom who was the first to give in to temptation and describe his collection that way.

Hello, Kathryn. With frogs is it the feet that need help most often? You are most welcome.

Matthew said...

You describe a phenomenon that I think happens to many collectors. Family and friends find out about the collection and by default the gifts given add to the numbers. This happened to my mom with lighthouses until she just stopped talking about them (or displaying them) and the gifts ceased.

I was just watching two rabbits chasing each other around my backyard!

sister AE said...

Hi, Matthew. You are absolutely right. And you should have seen the menagerie that I ended up with since I didn't have a single critter to focus on. People who brought my brother a rabbit brought me a frog, a burro, s bird, a dog, and more, all of which I have long since given away.

Stacy said...

I like the way that people ----- grown ups and children ---- are drawn to a collection. I have a small collection of wooden carved rabbits (a few with their bunny ears re-attached) ---- good to know that others have had the same problem!

tumblewords said...

Cute story. I can see the little kid pulling the table over and scattering the herd.

sister AE said...

Hi, Stacy. I certainly spent a lot of time with the glue back before I needed glasses. I'm guessing that's part of why Mom left the repairs to me! Some of them were tiny.

Thanks, tumblewords. He was so proud of himself.

Patois said...

I'm with Matthew on this: once you start collecting something, you become an easy "to buy for" person. And you begin to get sick of whatever it was you once adored. (Or at least I did, with pandas, and my mother did, with owls!) Delightful tale.

sister AE said...

Hi, Patois. Thanks.

BTW - I checked with my brother and he does still have the rabbit collection, and has even added a couple to it in recent years. People don't bring them to him, though, the way they used to. That is just as well.

sophie said...

For me it was (and is) elephants. Once someone learns you collect something, it makes gift giving fairly easy. I just recently unpacked most of my elephants, and it was great fun seeing them all again. I still find myself drawn to them, but I am no longer actively acquiring them. Elephants can multiply like rabbits also--though I believe the gestation is much longer.

sister AE said...

Hi, Sophie. I bet elephants have the same ear-loss problem that rabbits do!

Crafty Green Poet said...

We had an adorable real live bunny for a while, but she sadly died recently. We now only have a blue pottery rabbit.

sister AE said...

My brother-in-law had a rabbit for a while. I'm happy to say that nearly all of my younger brother's herd is still around, much easier when they are inanimate, but not nearly so cuddly.