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May 3, 2014

As Time Goes By: The tale of Harvey, the Easter gift rabbit

When I was just a little boy, my mother and father had a complete loss of mind and bought me a little white fluff of a live bunny for Easter. I was told that I would learn responsibility and love at the same time.

I quite frankly was aghast because I wanted to be much like every other kid on the block who got a chocolate bunny — the size of which we equated to how much your parents loved you. I usually did OK and would get an 18- to 24-inch bunny.

After Easter we would see who was the strongest willed, as evidenced that no part of the bunny was eaten. Once the least-willed one of us started munching (usually the ears) then it was “Katie bar the door” with chocolate smeared all over our faces.

Receiving a small white bunny did not pull my rank with the group but it did improve my meeting young ladies who are apparently suckers for bunnies and horses or ponies.

My father constructed a rabbit hutch outside that had a wire screen floor and a shelter with nice, fresh hay. My little, white friend took no time at all to make himself a nest where he was snuggly and as warm as toast. It became my job to feed the rabbit and to keep his nest warm and dry. This meant at least once a week I had to put in fresh straw and clean up any “nuggets” in the nest area.

The rabbit had to have a name. Homo sapiens are very uncomfortable if their pets have no names. Girl friends preferred calling him (yes it was a boy) “Fluffy,” while other friends suggested “Bugs” or “Jack” or even “Peter Cottontail.” We finally settled on “Harvey,” which I believe was a great stage play on Broadway.

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