I don't really care for rabbits as a pet. I remember as a child being fascinated by them, thanks in part, to Bugs Bunny cartoons. So when I discovered one of my class mates in the second grade had one, I rudely invited myself over to his house one day after school. I guess I expected that rabbit to be munching desperately on carrots just like bugs and bounding violently, 6 feet off the ground, and I suppose, wearing white gloves.
The real thing is a sobering disappointment. when he isn't hiding in his cage, the bunny simply ignores the two of us and spends all his time carelessly and soullessly foraging for leaves of lettuce, and, it turns out, he doesn't hop at all, he lazily bounds a couple inches from one place to another, and to my horror, doesn't eat carrots at all. It was yet another childhood cartoon fantasy shattered, like: 1) vanishing cream doesn't make you invisible. 2) Road runners are not 4 feet tall.
3) Anvils don't really fall from the sky that often. 4) Castor oil, well, I guess not even the cartoons really explained what that is.
My opinion of rabbits changed yesterday when I met Houdini, the mortality-dodging bunny, who escaped death. Jason Price is in jail today because he tried to kill Houdini with a sword. Price's old friend, Corey Blanke, reluctantly invites the wayward man to stay at his South Salt lake City home with his family which includes a wife, a 14 year old girl, 2 dogs and of course, Houdini.
At 5 AM, Price wakes up, and allegedly retrieves Houdini from his metal, mesh cage, snatches a long metal, 30 inch decorative sword off the wall, pins the bunny to the floor and grasping Houdini's leg, proceeds, according to police, thrust that shiny blade repeatedly at the little guy.
Corey tells me, Price stabs at Houdini several times, but Houdini shucks one way, shimmy's another and avoids every death blow. Corey isn't so lucky, fearful that Price will go after Blanke's family, Corey latches onto the business end of that blade and pries it from Price's grip. Price retreats out the door, in his boxers, and Blanke ends up with 10 stitches in his hands, "It hurts like hell," he laughs, "but I'll be fine," he tells me.
As I glance at the video of Houdini, doing what rabbits do, sitting in his cage, thinking about lettuce, I just can't get this comical image out of my mind of Houdini, shift-shaping his way out of the way of that gleaming blade, like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, bowing his back gracefully, poetically, and of course in slow motion, out of the path of air-bending bullets. Reeves wears black in all three of those movies, Houdini is of course, black. All he needs is a pair of sunglasses to complete the daydream.
I have respect for Houdini this morning, and by association I suppose, now the entire bunny species. Houdini manages to bring some of the childhood fantasy back to life, Now if he could just learn to hop a little higher.