I have five pet bunnies. Adelaide and Eli live in a bedroom upstairs. Alma and Esther are sisters who live in the dining room, and Michi/Peach lives in the living room. The living room and dining room are really one room, so a gate separates the two rooms when the bunnies are out to play.
Peachy’s mate, Sadie, died a little while ago. We’re trying to bond Peach to Alma and Esther, which is not easy. Alma and Esther have been bonded since birth, and all three bunnies are girls which makes things extra hard. We’ve been sporadically trying to bond them in the kitchen for over a year.
This dialogue takes place mostly between Michi and Alma, who are housed in side by side x-pens. Esther lives with Alma.
Peach (flat on the floor, head down, submissive): Psst. Hey. Hey guys! Can you hear me?
Alma: We can hear you. We hear you all the time.
M: Oh, okay. Well. I wasn’t sure. I. I see that you guys have a. A bunny club over there? And, well, I was thinking. That I’d be a good member. If you’d let me join? I mean. I’ve been in a club before, and. And I was good at it! You could. Boss me around? And I’ll just do what you say. Oh, my, my name is Micayla. Sometimes they call me Peachy. Or just Peach. Sometimes it’s Peachy Peachy Pumpkin Pie. You. You could just call me Mich, though? That’s what they called me in my old club.
A [deadpan]: We know your name. You live next door to us.
M: Oh, well, yeah. I. I didn’t think of that. But! I know your names, too. You’re Alma, and you’re Esther? Right? I’m right, aren’t I?
A [to Esther]: Don’t talk to her.
M: I know you have a club, and it’s a good one. I can tell, and. I mean. I know clubs. Because I was in one before. Did I tell you that? I know good clubs, and you guys. You guys got one. I know how clubs are. I know there’s a boss and everyone else listens. And that’s okay with me. I don’t even like being a boss. I just like being in clubs. I can do lots of things. Like. Like I can click my heels! Watch. Are you guys watching? Guys, hey guys, ready, here I go! [jumps in air and clicks heels]
A: We can do that, too. You’re a bunny, right? All bunnies can to that.
M: I can do more stuff than that! Let me think. Um. I know! I can jump on boxes without falling off! Esther, you always fall off, I’ve seen you! But I don’t ever! Watch!
E [quietly, to Alma, cutting her eyes]: Is this bitch serious?
M: Guys, do you see me? I’m up here, on top of the box! Do you see? Hey guys! Do you see me?
A: Get down, Leach.
M: Oh, okay. Okay, guys. I’m coming down. [hops down] Okay, so what do you guys think? Do you think I can be in your club? I can run really fast, too, and I. I can pull all of my hay out of my litter box. And. I can dump my bowls! I do it every day! And they get mad at me? But I don’t care. They’re my bowls, so I dump them whenever I want. And I dump them next to each other, so that the water makes my food mush. And then? They have to get me more. They don’t want to, but. I don’t care. And I can dig, too! Have you seen the holes in the carpet? They’re bigger than me! And when I get yelled at, I keep digging. I don’t care. Sometimes I’m like, you know, “Why don’t you guys kiss. My. Butt? You can’t make me stop.” And they can’t either. I just keep digging.
A: Once again. You know we live next door, right? What do you do when they squirt you with the water bottle?
M: Well. I mean. I guess I stop. But I stomp my foot first. You know I do! You’ve heard it! I stomp as loud as I can, and then I flick my heels right in their faces. I mean, it’s not like I just stop right away. They know I’m mad. So what do you guys think? Can I be in the club or not?
A: Tell you what. Esther and I. We’re going to think about it. We’re going to talk about it at our next meeting, and we’re going to get back to you.
M: Oh. Well. Okay. So you’ll tell me soon? Because I’m telling you guys. I really am a good club member.
What I’m reading: Joyce Carol Oates, “How Delicately,” and Sharon Olds, “The Unborn”