CHAPTER 70—Bentley Builds A Burrow
Abigail’s little ears perked up. Off in the distance, she heard the sound of digging—rabbit digging! She looked at Dad inquisitively and thought, “Dad, maybe you should go check it out.”
Dad followed the sound downstairs to the storage closet at the bottom of the stairs. The door was ajar. He looked inside and there was Bentley, ripping apart a cardboard box with his teeth—shreds of cardboard scattered everywhere. “Hey little guy. Whacha doin’?” he asked. Bentley looked up at Dad as if to say, “Just digging a path.” Although Dad had given Bentley plenty of toys to play with, like human kids, he quickly lost interest in them and found something else to entertain himself with.
Bentley thought, “Well, that’s enough digging for today,” and hopped off to take a nap under the bed. Dad was willing to indulge Bentley, but he thought he’d better assess the closet to make sure it was rabbit-safe if Bentley was going to explore this new space.
The closet was filled with plastic storage bins and a few cardboard boxes. Although the storage bins were safe from rabbit teeth, he knew any cardboard box was fair game. He emptied out any contents from the boxes that were important or not good for rabbits to chew on. In their place, he stuffed the boxes full of old magazines that would be OK for Bentley to tear at.
Since Bentley was ripping out the sides of the box nearest the door to widen his entrance, Dad removed the boxes stacked on top. That way, if Bentley chewed out the sides, the stacked boxes wouldn’t collapse and smoosh him.
For the next month, Bentley spent his days digging in the closet. More and more piles of shredded paper and cardboard appeared outside the door. Dad assumed Bentley was just following his natural instincts to dig, so he let him be.
One night, Dad gave Abigail her goodnight pet and headed downstairs to bed. Normally, Bentley would join him in the bedroom, but tonight, he was nowhere to be found. Dad searched all his hidey spots, but there was no Bentley. Finally, he went over to the storage closet and looked inside. “Bentley!” he called. There was no sound. “I hope he’s not stuck or hurt”, thought Dad. Even though it was 1 AM, he emptied out the closet to search for Bentley. There in the very back corner was Bentley, sleeping inside a hollowed-out box. Bentley woke up, surprised to find Dad staring at him. “What?” he thought.
“Are you OK?” asked Dad. Bentley thought, “Yes Dad, I’m fine. I wanted a place of my own, where I can put things where I want and no one will move them. I wanted a place that’s private and safe, so I can sleep undisturbed, with multiple pathways so I don’t feel trapped. I made this burrow. Isn’t it great?”
Dad chuckled. He remembered building a fort as a child, so he understood Bentley’s need for some private space. He just smiled and said, “OK, as long as you’re safe and happy.” Carefully, he placed all the storage bins and boxes back in the same order, making sure he didn’t block any pathways.
Now that his burrow was complete, Bentley stopped digging; and, every night, he slept soundly in his burrow.
Abigail wondered, “Dad, what was all the digging about?” Dad explained, “Turns out, Bentley wasn’t just digging for fun. He had a purpose all along. He was building a burrow!”