Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Rabbit and the Romanian

This morning I arranged my long run so that the Romanian boy, Catalin, could join me. When I got to their apartment, the whole family was up and the girl was excitedly waiting for my husband to pick her up and take her to see our rabbit. Dan had told me the night before that he wasn’t sure if he would be up for dealing with a kid today, so I cautioned the mother that Dan was really tired and that they should wait for him to call, but the girl seemed unfazed by this news, confident she would get to play with a bunny today.


Catalin and I went up through one of the nice neighborhoods near Rice, did the loop around the university, back to Montrose and back to the apartment. The humidity got to him a little, which didn’t surprise me. It takes time to figure out how to run long in hot and humid conditions. I’ve been running seven years now and I think this is the first year I can truthfully say that I can run without suffering in all but the very worst summer conditions. But I’m not worried about Catalin. He’s fourteen. He’ll adjust to the climate in no time, if he trains consistently.

After running with him to his apartment, I went back to the bayou, did a loop and went home. By now it was quite hot, I was dripping sweat and seriously needed to use the bathroom. So of course I stumbled in the door, and there was Anna Marie, full of seven year-old energy and no English skills. Her first instinct was to fling herself on me for a hug, but I deflected that (come on, kid, I’m wet and I stink!), and hurried off to the bathroom.

That matter taken care of, I took stock of the situation. Somehow, we had ended up with sole charge of this tyke, the parents having decided they needed a little break, I guess. Dan hadn’t realized what he was getting into, and was already muttering about how glad he was we don’t have kids while trying to keep Anna Marie from decorating our new sofa with a marker.

Dude, never give a hyperactive kid markers! Never, ever!

I found her some colored pencils, but she soon lost interest.

Then I asked how Tidbit was taking to the stranger.

As it turned out, Tid had been friendly enough at first, but had grown annoyed at Anna Marie’s attempts to pick her up. After stomping and grunting at her, Tidbit had gone off to hide. I iced my legs, hoping Tid would come out and visit me, since hanging out on Saturday morning is one of our little traditions. But she was still sulking and wouldn’t come out. I finished icing and took a shower.

Feeling better now, I came back out to the living room to watch the Tour and make sure Dan wasn’t giving the kid markers again, and now Tidbit came out. I showed Anna Marie the correct way to pet the bunny and Tidbit seemed to let bygones be bygones. She nosed around the little girl, friendly as could be. For a long time, Anna Marie played with Tidbit, feeding her wisps of hay and using the stuffed bunnies to interact with her. She pretended to read The Runaway Bunny to her. She scooped Tidbit’s breakfast pellets into her palm and allowed me to show her the correct way to let the rabbit eat out of her hand. They both had a wonderful time.

I had always suspected Tidbit had been a child’s bunny, and from the way she behaved today, I continue to think so. She was friendly and patient, but stood her ground on things she didn’t like. She never got hostile, but simply removed herself from the situation if the kid got rough. Amazing. People pay big bucks to train their dogs to behave this way, and here’s this little unwanted rabbit from the shelter who does it by instinct.

You’re the best, Tidbit!

And you, too, Floyd! Great comeback—now go get that hip fixed, okay?

Today’s Workout
Saturday: 13 mile run


goldenlucyd said...

Oh, I've always felt you were the best, BG. This post brought tears to my eyes. What a deep and kind person you are!

It's the oddest thing. I've been thinking about you nearly every day and intending to write a note. But you know, it's 5 minutes later and I'm off to the chiropractor. (I love mine!)

How ARE you enduring the deep south summer heat? 13 miles? I hope you did it in the dead of night.

I send hugs and bunny love to you and yours, darling BG,

LauraHinNJ said...

Amazes me how resiliant bunnies are - I don't know the *real* backgrounds of most of mine, but their coming to trust and acceptance of love is heartwarming to me.

Glad Tidbit made a friend!

Rachel said...

Wow! That's awesome. I'm more of an animal person than a kid person myself. My buns mostly are a little freaked around kids. George (my late horse) was amazing though. He was so gentle! How do they know?