CHAPTER 131 – Overcoming Instincts
Abigail sat quietly beside her hay tunnel waiting for Dad. She heard him rustling around in his burrow below and knew he’d come by soon to say good morning.
It had been four years since the tiny two pound Netherland Dwarf came to live with Dad at the House of Buns. Netherland Dwarfs were created by crossing Polish rabbits with smaller wild rabbits. Those wild rabbit instincts were still strong in Abigail. She often behaved more like her wild cousins outside than typical house rabbits like Bentley, who seemed much more confident and relaxed. A wild rabbit’s motto is, “Run first. Ask questions later.” No matter how much she trusted Dad, she was always fighting those instincts.
Lately, however, a certain calmness had come over her. She felt more relaxed and comfortable. Instead of grabbing a treat and hopping off the couch to eat it, she would just eat the treat on the couch. She even allowed Dad to pet her while she was on the couch.
Dad came into the room singing, “Are there any little bunnies here? Are there any little bunnies with tiny little ears… There’s my chestnut fluffball. Good morning, Abigail!”
Abigail watched Dad kneel down beside her to pet her. She lowered her head onto the floor and granted him permission. She closed her eyes and luxuriated in each stroke of her head and ears. Dad was a good petter!
But then she felt a change. She opened her eyes and looked up. Dad’s ginormous head was right above her and his nose was nuzzling her tiny little ears. Each stroke ended with a tiny kiss. In the past, Abigail would have run off. Her instincts made her flee anything that big so close to her. But with her new found calmness, she just closed her eyes again and enjoyed him nuzzling her. “Actually, I kind of like this!” she thought.
After several minutes of this, Dad stopped. Abigail looked up. Dad said, “Well look at you! Look how brave and relaxed you are! You’ve come so far. Remember when you first came here and you wouldn’t even let me pet you?” Abigail thought, “It just takes time, Dad. It’s hard for us to fight our instincts. You just have to be patient with the baby.”