Monday, February 04, 2013

The birds and the bunnies

We need to breed Bonnie, said our youngest daughter.
There’s nothing like a 12-year-old talking about procreation to get a mom’s attention. Luckily, our girl was referring to Bonnie, her pet bunny.
Bonnie, a black-and-white Dutch rabbit, lives in a little hutch in our backyard. Over the past two years, she’s been proudly shown at various rabbit shows, fairs and 4-H meetings.
If we breed Bonnie, I can have more rabbits to show, our girl said. Plus, I can sell some of the bunnies and make some money, she said confidently.
I looked over at Dad. Was he behind this bunny breeding business?
He just shrugged his shoulders.
How do you play bunny matchmaker anyway? Its not like there’s a site for rabbits. Girl bunnies don’t take out singles ads in newspapers. What would the ad say — “Female Dutch looks for cute male Dutch, must enjoy long hops in the grass and carrots”?
But Dad and daughter had it all figured out. Turns out, Jessica, the bunny breeder we got Bonnie from, had plenty of boy bunnies to set up with Bonnie.
We can breed her at the rabbit show in Santa Rosa this weekend, Jessica said.
So much for any bunny courtship. No flowers or phone calls for these two. The bunnies would be simultaneously introduced and become parents with just a twitch of a whisker.
That’s how we met Willie, Bonnie’s “boyfriend.”
Turns out, Willie is a handsome fellow. He’s a show champion, my husband informed me, which means their offspring should be equally show-worthy.
Meeting up at the rabbit show, Jessica wasted no time with bunny introductions. She simply put the two rabbits into one cage so they could do their bunny thing. Only there was just one problem — Willie’s boy bunny parts didn’t exactly connect with Bonnie’s girl bunny parts.
I must pause here for a moment because I realize that writing about bunny sex is a first for this column. Add another notch on my “Most Embarrassing Mom” belt. 
Jessica pondered the failed mating. Maybe it was too noisy at the show, she said. Willie might have been distracted.
Maybe he had performance anxiety, I thought. Poor Willie. How can the average bunny be expected to, ahem, fulfill his obligation, in broad daylight and with all these people watching him? What about some soft lighting or candles? Maybe some romantic music? The theme from “Peter Rabbit” might be appropriate.
After several failed “attempts,” Jessica offered to take Willie and Bonnie home for the night. Apparently, the two needed more privacy. Maybe they could bond over a carrot for two.
The next afternoon, we picked up Bonnie.
I looked at the rabbit. She didn’t look like she was pregnant, but what did I know?
When should we expect the baby bunnies?, I asked Jessica.
In about 28 days, she said.
Get ready, I said to our girl. You’re about to become a mother.  

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