Catching 7-Up

As I was driving home from work yesterday I saw a small black animal cross the road. Cat, right? There were lots of black cats in the neighbourhood. But it had a funny gait for a cat. Cats wouldn’t lollop, would they? And they wouldn’t have floppy ears. Maybe it was a rabbit. But rabbits didn’t belong in the middle of the road. So I pulled up and went over to have a closer look.

There it was, a very fuzzy black lop-eared rabbit in the middle of a moult, calmly eating weeds in someone’s front yard: oxalis, milk thistle, dandelions, millet grass. I watched it and it ignored me. When I stepped towards it, it moved away, still eating.

There was a car in the driveway and the garage door was open, so someone must be in. I went to the front door and rang the doorbell. Minutes passed, and then an old guy answered the door.

“Sorry to disturb you, but do you have a black rabbit? Because there’s a black rabbit in your front yard, eating your plants.”

No, he didn’t have a black rabbit and didn’t want one either. He already had a rabbit. Yes, I could catch it if I wanted.

I slowly approached the rabbit but it wasn’t interested in being handled. It was pretty zippy too. My, what long fur you have. And what big black feet–

A woman came out of the house. “I think I know that rabbit. It belongs to my neighbours, and they’ve just gone out.”

Yay! Two catchers, no waiting. She knew the rabbit and presumably it knew her, so I let her take the lead. She called it 7-Up.

The rabbit hopped into a third neighbour’s front yard and I circled round to prevent it from straying farther. Into the shrubbery next to the low wall it went. The woman got her hands on it a few times but couldn’t hang on.

Then it tried to move to the next property but I was there to dissuade it, and back into the shrubbery it went. This time the woman got a good grip, and in a flash the rabbit was on its back and in her arms. I patted it on the head.

Yep, I said, all smiles. I was just driving along when I saw it crossing the road, and I didn’t want to see rabbit pie. She agreed it would be a bad thing, also all smiles. She would keep the bunny for her neighbours. We waved, I left.

And that was my good deed for the day.

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