Becoming Bunny

My friend became a bunny. It started in his face, it grew soft, pinched and pointed. It was soon covered with a film of white hair. His mother thought it was drugs, "Angel Dust," she said. He stopped going to school and at home had started to hop (instead of walk) and he was getting small. I still visited him, though by now he seldom talked.

His wooly cotton tail, poking up out of the top of his pants, had us all concerned, though his brothers and I sniggered behind his back. His own composure broke when his now floppy ears grew several inches above his head. It was not long after that that his family, having seen the worst, built a cage for him out back. His brother shoved carrots through the bars while his mother stood crying on the porch.

By the time the last of his human attributes had disappeared there was no longer any certainty that he had been human. Those who'd known him either didn't care or were too embarassed to argue the point on his behalf. His brother moved into his room and his things were divvied up among the rest of the family. His Hot Wheels cars and his G.I. Joe were quickly dispersed. (I got nothing). Even his high-school picture disappeared from the mantle.

He lived in the cage throughout the summer. His mother always made sure his water dish was full and his cage was kept clean. He had plenty of carrots, celery and lettuce. I guess he lived pretty well; he was well cared for. I wondered if he had any memories of his pre-rabbit self, or our friendship. I suppose he didn't but there were times when he had a look of recognition when I went to see him, but maybe that was because I fed him carrots. I used to like just standing there, talking to him, but after a while he kind of freaked me out; his delicate feet, his twitching nose. He was no longer the person I'd grown up with.

We used to sit in the back of his mother's car, making fart noises with our hands and arms while our mothers talked in the front. We'd seen our first porn together, smoked our first pot, shunned disco, discovered punk rock. He was my best friend. He's now a rabbit.

One night in late summer I'd had enough, I went back there, to his cage, and took him out. With him on the seat beside me I drove to a park, to "buzz rock." He left several raisin like turds on the vinyl car seat. I carried him out to our favorite spot and put him down. I was shaking, "go on," I said, gesturing with my foot. He just sat there in the grass.

I was starting to cry. I couldn't look at him. I tried to talk to him, to reason with him. "Remember when that owl came out of the woods, and scared us, well now an owl could attack you and you'll be defenseless." I waved my arms. My voice quavered, "You wanna go back to the wild, then go back to the wild, asshole!" He kept sitting there, his pink eyes confused, his little nose twitching. I picked up a clump of dirt and threw it at him. I was really crying now, tears were running down my cheeks, into my mouth. "Fuck you!," I sobbed. He hopped away, into the bushes.

His family didn't much notice that he was gone. Maybe they were relieved. The cage sat empty in their yard for several months and then one night I saw it in their garbage. I went back to the park a couple of times, looking for him, but could never find him.

I never saw him again but I know he's out there, in Bunny-land, hopping with the other bunnies, or gnawing a stick of wild celery.