One day Hope started sneaking out of her enclosure. She could usually be found in the side yard. She would sit and rest after her explorations. I believe she was looking for Grace.
Bunnies do not like to be alone and I have been told they mate for life. Hope and Grace were our bunnies that partnered up shortly after they met. They were inseparable. Unfortunately for Hope, Grace had passed away a few months earlier.
I would receive phone calls and emails from the neighbors letting me know our bunny got out. I would say thank you and reply that she usually comes home by nightfall. She was looking for Grace.
One day she crossed the street. Neighbors let us know she was out and where she was. Eight to ten folks ended up chasing her to try to catch her. She was not having it. Eventually, she hid under a shed. The humans were tired and let her be.
During the chase, some of the humans were concerned that she would be in danger or not be able to fend for herself. At that moment I knew Hope was exactly where she wanted to be. I did not know if she was going to return home after all the hubbub trying to catch her.
She didn’t come home. She made a new home under the shed and found a friend. She seemed happy.
Hope became a local social media topic. Sightings of the black bunny were discussed with many varying opinions. Someone talked about catching her to “save her”, that’s when I spoke up. I stated that I was Hope’s owner and she had expressed independence and we are respecting her agency to choose where she would like to live. She is always welcome at home and we support the path she chooses. Thankfully this shut down the talk of capturing her. Y
Last Sunday I was in a funk and forced myself to go for a walk. As I walked past a driveway, I saw her! She was chomping on some plantain leaves, Just chillin’. She had grey hair peppered through her coat. I could tell she had aged but she still had some pep in her step.
She let me get pretty close to her and at one point she got close enough to touch my shoe. I knew better than to try to pet her. She was my bunny and I knew that was not her preference. We just sat. She looked at me while she chomped on the buffet in the driveway and I just admired her presence. She is old. I don’t know how old she was when we got her, but that was about eight years ago. She looks like she has had a good life.
Eventually, she and Grace will be reunited. I am so thankful I got to spend that time with her.
Hope is alive and well in Ypsilanti. Amen.