Burying the Bunny

We’d noticed a very ‘sleepy’ bunny laying in our yard a few days ago. Naturally, when we walked up and saw the glazed over eye; we knew it wasn’t sleeping (well, not in terms of beauty sleep, at least). I, stupidly, mentioned to my children, that we should do a funeral for the bunny.
When I was five, a bird had flown into our window and died. I was heartbroken and placed it in a shoebox for burial, although, I don’t actually remember carrying out this plan and probably left it as an unexpected “surprise” for my mother. I am, however, very sure that was the day I got poison ivy (well, it was at the base of the tree I’d decided to ‘lay-to-rest’ the little bird).

In any case, it had been about 3 days (yeah, don’t wait 3 days to bury ANYTHING) and the neighborhood kids were getting antsy (excited) for the ceremony. So, I got the biggest box I could find… which ended up being not quite big enough and we proceeded to decorate it with colorful construction paper, which made it look more like a present than a casket. The kids cut out a ‘bunny head’ (in black, of course! out of construction paper, for all of you, with twisted minds) and pasted it to the top of the box. Roses were placed inside the box, to make, a soft bed for the bunny (the thorns were still on the roses, so I doubt it would’ve been too comfortable).

Then, the fun part… get the bunny. Somehow, I was delegated this job. The smell alone was enough to make me rethink the whole idea… and, the flies… well, I guess you don’t need to hear all the gory details… you know, like about the maggots and oozing. Although, he was surprisingly soft (with the exception of his feet). TMI? Into the box he went. His stiff little feet sticking up to heaven. While placing the lid on, we decided to use ribbon to tie the box shut (his feet were pressing against the lid and we needed the box closed TIGHTLY). After tying the box with ribbon; we (or I should say “I”) carried the little box into the backyard with the wind blowing the stench of his decaying carcass right into my face, where a little ‘grave’ (think 1 × 1 hole) awaited. Oh, I should mention that Febreeze was brought… you know, to help cut down on the odor. I’m not sure Febreeze is intended for that STRENGTH of odor but it did help, especially, when sprayed directly into the nostrils. (I’m joking so please do not try this at home).

The neighborhood kids came, in black (of course)… and, with a somber procession we started the funeral. Ian, Tamme’s son, began the eulogy. “He was a nice bunny…. a little bunny…..”. He did an outstanding job, considering we didn’t really know the bunny all that well… not at all, in fact. Ian’s sister brought the funeral music and “Let It Be” played while we all stared down at the make-shift coffin; our mouths and noses covered tightly by our hands while making quiet gagging sounds.
Naturally, it was a closed casket funeral.

After, the song ended, the children all threw handfuls of dirt into the grave. Luckily, the boys were excellent grave diggers/ fillers although limbs were nearly lost while they flung their shovels about. The rest of us watched (occasionally, yelling at them to be careful, expletive!!) while trying to suck down enough fresh air to get the rotting bunny smell out.

All in all, it was a beautiful ceremony. I just hope our bullmastiff doesn’t decide to dig it up… he’s always on the look for a new chew toy. ;)

Burying the Bunny

Jen Wahl

Denver, United States

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