A bunny’s return visit

Editor’s note — This guest column was written by Hillsboro resident Cheryl Collier in 2019.

It had been a cold dreary winter. Spring was coming with its warm sunny days, budding flowers and new life with baby birds and animals all around.

We would sit on our deck and wath the wildlife in the backyards. It was hard to believe we lived on the busiest street in the city and animals were everywhere. The habitat in the back was great for wildlife. There was a large pond for water and a huge barn for shelter.

We saw lots of animals. There was a family of red foxes born in the barn. They would come out and play during the day. Deer would go to the pond for water. We saw two male deer fighting for territory. Therewere lots of snakes. But my fondest memory was the day a very small bunny came close to our back deck. It was obvious he was scared. He ran to the front of our house. For fear he would get in traffic, I scooped him up in a box and sat the box on our back deck.

I gave him food and water, but he was scratching the box so hard — trying to get out. I talked to him, trying to calm him down, but to no avail.

I knew he was a wild animal and that he shouldn’t be confined to a box or a cage. It broke my heart, but I had to let him go. I put the box down on the ground and tipped it over. I said goodbye and watched him scurry to the brush.

I thought that would be the last time I saw him. I went to the house hoping he would be alright.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Later the next spring he returned. He stayed right off our back steps under the shrubs until fall. Coming from our garage, I was eye level with the retaining wall where he stayed. I would set up my tripod and camera and take pictures of him. He was not afraid of me. He would stretch, clean himself and sleep — not a care in the world.

He stayed all summer, but was gone by fall.

It makes you wonder about reincarnation, or was he just hiding from the cruel world?

I often think about him and wonder why he befriended me.