Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mad as Rabbits

So, yeah. The rabbit. To the surprise of absolutely no one, he’s still here. It is a fact of life that nearly everyone who wants a rabbit already has one. One person kindly wrote in to the blog after the first rabbit-entry and put me in touch with a person who actually wanted a rabbit. We spoke. She seemed lovely. But she was two hours away and I felt morally obligated to do a home-check without feeling vehicularly motivated to travel two hours. He remained here and will do so until the right home comes up.

After the first month, I had his testicles removed and he became much more delightful. I’ve had dogs and cats neutered before but I've never before seen such an about-face in dispostion. Where there was jerkiness, there is now charm. There is no more biting of the hands which feed him but merely an endless demonstration of delighted, if pointless, hopping. I’m so pleased with how this particular neutering went that I keep mentioning it. I’ve told several people that the world would be a better place if I was allowed to cram nearly all males in a cage and take them to the vet. On what I’m sure is a completely unrelated topic, Consort no longer allows me near his friends.

But he was still temporary (the rabbit, not Consort) and you could tell that because Bunny had no name. Name an animal and experience has shown you're one step away from getting the Christmas stocking made. So, for the first two months he was Bunny. Sometimes Mr. Bun if I felt like referencing Calvin and Hobbes. Then one day I was putting his newly-equable self to bed and I looked at his face and thought You look like a dentist. I don’t know exactly what it is, but something about his face which makes me want to lean into a bowl and spit. Trust me, he looks like a dentist. He became Dr. Bun.

Then, Dr. Bunnerman.
Then, Dr. Bunstein.
Finally, we settled on Dr. Marvin K. Bunstein, DDS.
The K is for Kenneth, should anyone ask, and they do.

But he’s not too formal so he usually goes as Dr. B. Unless, of course, he’s feigning death.

One afternoon, Consort went out to the garage and left the door to the yard ajar. Since Dr. B has shown an unwholesome fascination with the garage and those lovely perils within, Consort realized he had to make sure the rabbit hadn’t gotten inside. He called for the rabbit in all of his favorite places, then in the obscure places, finally looking in the far dusty corner of the yard. There was Dr. B, lying on his back, quite inert, a fly buzzing over one slightly-opened eye. He touched the rabbit gently with his foot. Nothing. Consort winced; something had killed the rabbit and it was best he take care of it before his girls saw it. He got a shovel from the shed and gently scooped the rabbit, at which point Dr. Bunstein leapt three feet in the air, dashed the length of the yard, panting in terror and glaring balefully at Consort over his offended but very alive shoulder. As Consort told the story later, “Even that fly thought he was dead.”

But it seems Dr. Bunstein is just an incredibly sound midday sleeper. La siesta de la muerte. We’ve all seen the death-nap. I rolled trash cans past him without waking him up. This makes sense because he’s nothing but white meat and a four nascent key rings. You certainly wouldn’t want to be prey who is aware of your surroundings.

You now know he’s attractive, amiable and a sound sleeper. What else can I tell you? Oh, right; he’s an idiot. Someone had to graduate at the bottom of bunny class and it might have been my furry dentist. Of course, we need to consider the job specs of a rabbit:

1. Make more rabbits.

2. Eat vegetables.

I'll never know how he fared on #1, but man is he feeble at #2. I’ll walk in the backyard carrying a clump of broccoli, a vegetable we’ve determined delights him to no end. Dr. B hears my footsteps and dashes out from some shady spot. I proceed to his food corner, where he gets his food. He circles my feet three or four times in delight because this is where food is served when I arrive, and I have arrived. I put down the broccoli at my feet, right next to him. Dr. B stares at me blankly.

Dr. B: Food?

Quinn: Right there. Next to you.

Dr. B daintily steps over the broccoli and inspects my foot.

Dr. B: We’re in the food corner! Food?

Quinn picks up Dr. B and turns him so his head is facing the broccoli. Dr. B steps on to the broccoli, turns around and looks up hopefully.

Dr. B: Give me a hint.

Sure, he’s a dim bulb but he did have the cunning sense to locate the one house in a six-block radius with a person even dumber than he is. And let's not forget, people, I'm allergic to rabbits! Then again, he's sweet. And utterly harmless. And it will be nice to have the convenience of a dentist in the family.

Friday, July 01, 2011

A Wish is a Dream Your Heart Makes

Blah, blah, blah. It's all about me and my needs.




Which is my ham-fisted way of saying I need your help. I'm eager to have voices we don't always hear from  in the homeschooling community in the new book. I've spoken to so many fascinating people and believe me, even if homeschooling is nowhere in your life or on your radar, I think these stories are going to captivate you. You know that one where you're sitting in a coffee shop waiting for a friend and you start eavesdropping on the next table because other people's problems are just so oddly compelling? And then your friend arrives and you're pleased to see her but also a tiny bit sad because the story was just getting to the part where lawyers got involved?

They're like that.

But there are certain homeschoolers I haven't been able to reach and they deserve to be heard in their own words; I'm hoping you're either these people or know these people:

A single parent
An LDS family
A Native American family who homeschools for cultural reasons
A family who homeschools so they can travel
An active military family
A Muslim family
A family who homeschools because a child was being bullied

If you're one of these, please leave me a comment. I won't put it up if you ask for privacy but will just reach out directly. If you're not one of the five but still feel chatty, please don't hesitate to write. If I do this right, the book should be bristling with interesting people and you could very well be one of them.

Next time I write, there will be no more ranting about American-made goods or American-educated children. I'll tell you about the rabbit!

Yeah, he's still here. Are any of us surprised?