CHAPTER 2: FINALLY FREE
The morning sun gently woke Abigail. She opened her eyes and saw the inside of her familiar cage. “Did I dream all that business about being moved?” she wondered. But when she peered out through the bars, everything looked different. Beside her was a big window that she could look out, and in front of her was soft carpet as far as she could see.
“Good morning!” said a cheerful voice. It was the man she had met yesterday. This was definitely not a dream. “Did you sleep OK?” he asked. The man opened the lid to her cage and slowly reached in to pet her. He seemed trustworthy so far. She didn’t back away this time, and granted him permission to touch her head. “Welcome to your new home,” he said, “Would you like to explore?”
He slid open the door to her cage, and backed away. Abigail looked at the open door and was frozen with fear. She was all alone, about to face a new world. Rabbits are curious creatures, and curiosity soon overcame her fear. She hopped out onto the carpet. It felt good on her feet. It gave her good traction in case she needed to run, which made her feel more secure. She scanned the room for danger, but all was still. So, she bravely ventured out into the open. There were so many new sights to behold and smells to investigate!
“This is your new home,” explained the man, “It’s all yours!” Did she hear him right? The entire place was hers? “You never have to go back in the cage if you don’t want to,” he said. Yes, she had heard right! The man left her alone to set up her new space. It was so big! She was used to living in 8 square feet. This was a hundred times bigger! It was like walking out onto a football field.
Abigail explored the living room, and chose a spot by the bottom of a tall window for her home base. Behind her, she had an unobstructed view of the outside world where she could watch squirrels playing in the trees. In front of her, she could keep an eye on everything going on in her territory. The spot was far enough out of the way that she could run for cover if something unfamiliar showed up. It was perfect. She marked that spot with a few little poops to let everyone know that this was now her spot.
Then she chose her bathroom. “No more pooping where I eat and sleep!” she thought. She chose a spot as far away as she could from her napping place, but still close enough that she could make a beeline back to home base if needed. She left a pile of poops and a splash of pee to let the man understand this was her bathroom. He obliged, and put down a piece of cardboard and a towel. She understood, and from then on, faithfully used that as her bathroom. No words were spoken, but they were communicating! This man was listening to her!
Late that night, an excited Abigail ran laps around the dining room table and dashed through the living room. As she ran past her old cage, she thought, “No more. I’m never going back in there!”
Her wish had come true. At last, she was free!