CHAPTER 99 – Nightly Rituals
The soft blue light of dusk faded to black. Abigail stood up, stretched, and yawned a buck-toothed bunny yawn. It was almost dinner time.
Like clockwork, Dad delivered dinner to all the buns in the house. “Dinner’s ready, Abigail,” he announced. Abigail waited until Dad sat down at the coffee table to eat while he watched the evening news before she ran over to her dinner tray. It was their ritual.
She grabbed the paper tube and tossed out the little slice of fresh apple. “I love apple!” she thought. She never quite understood why Dad placed the apple in the tube, but she humored him.
After grazing at the buffet, she explored her territory and then sat down by the window near Dad. Like many rabbits, she liked the company of being near her human, but not in his lap or right beside him. As much as Dad wanted her to sit in his lap or beside him on the couch, he respected her wishes.
Abigail watched Dad finish his dinner and then plant himself in front of the computer in the dining room. He had moved his computer there so he could be near Abigail. Abigail hopped over and sat down by his feet to keep him company.
Dad knew it was important to spend time with all the bunnies. After all, they were his kids. Around 9 PM, he said, “OK, Abigail, I’m going downstairs to say hi to the boys.”
Bentley was already waiting at the bottom of the stairs when Dad came down. “Hi Bentley, I brought you some willow,” said Dad. Dad loaded his “willow ball” with fresh willow. Bentley loved willow! Immediately, he began tossing the ball around and nibbling on the fresh willow leaves. Dad sat with him as Bentley made his rounds to his various treat spots for a nibble of this and a taste of that. When he was done, Bentley sat down by the dresser and looked at Dad. “Pets please,” he thought.
Dad laid on the floor and gently stroked his ears and massaged his cheeks. Bentley tooth-purred. After about ten minutes of massage, Bentley stood up, stretched, and slunk under the bed for a nap.
Dad sauntered down the hall to Mocha’s and Hobo’s room. He knocked first, so as not to startle the bunnies when he entered. “Hi boys! Treat time!” he announced.
Mocha and Hobo came bounding over, ears flopping and tails bouncing. They climbed into Dad’s lap, eager for treats. “Here’s some fresh willow for you,” said Dad. He sat with them as they nibbled on the tasty young leaves.
Then he gave each of them a snacker and a little dried papaya treat. Hobo loved the snackers and happily crunched on them. Mocha preferred the papaya treats and grabbed them first. Just like humans, each bunny had their favorite treats.
Around midnight, Dad would make the rounds again and repeat the rituals. By then, the bunnies were wide awake again and ready for a second round of foraging.
“Good night boys. See you in the morning,” said Dad as he dimmed the lights and closed the door. Hobo looked at Mocha and said, “You know what I like? I like that we can count on things every day. Breakfast, dinner, litter cleaning, fresh hay, and treat time with Dad.” Mocha agreed, “Me, too! No more stressing about when or if the next meal is coming.” Mocha flopped down on his side and slipped into a deep sleep. He was content—as were all the bunnies at The House of Buns.
Dad makes sure he spends time with all the bunnies every night.
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