Four years ago, I went apple picking on a New England farm and came home with a bag of Macs and a black baby bunny. My children were initially thrilled with this new furry family member, but eventually the novelty wore off and Bella the bunny became my charge.
For three years she lived in a cage. I took her out daily for a little hopping exercise but, mostly, she just sat around. Last summer, she transitioned to an outdoor dog pen that opened a new realm of possibility. She could hop all day, munch on grass, and even dig . . . bunny heaven.
Last week, she escaped. Freedom for Bella was sweet indeed. She discovered clover and dandelions; she roamed our yard and explored our gardens. I caught her and returned her to her pen but, by the next morning, she had tunnelled out again. When I picked her up next, there was a turning point for me and I chose not to lock her up.
Although I appreciated the certainty of a caged rabbit, I couldn’t bring myself to stifle her new-found freedom — even with its risks. I’ve reached a point of letting go, not unlike the process of releasing my teenagers to their destinies. Now we have frequent daily sightings of a very happy bunny. Born into the limits of our circumstances, we all yearn to be free.
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