I never thought there would be a moment in my life where the mere site or thought of a banana could bring pain to my chest.
A tightening that feels almost like it’s crushing my heart.
A weight I can’t move.
“Why bananas?” you might ask. As I’m sure most of you are thinking right now, incredulously as you read these words.
Every day I was the one to take a banana to North, the only bunny I’ve ever owned. I mean, we’re not exactly set up to have a rabbit in the first place. Bunnies just weren’t on the list of animals.
Cats and dogs, oh yes… But never bunnies.
See, we didn’t actually plan on getting North, nor did he plan on being gotten. Perhaps I should tell you the whole story, and maybe at the end you’ll understand how all this started.
Let’s go back, several years now… the exact date you ask? I’m sorry, I don’t rightly know. I’m not good with numbers, let alone time and dates. However, I can tell you it was about ten years ago, and the day was Easter.
I had just come into the small kitchen, the reason lost to me at this point in time. My mother was at the sink, washing dishes, when she asked me to look out the window just behind the sink to see if I could see something out in the yard. Confused, I did just that and saw a small black shape, but couldn’t make out what it was at first. Then it moved, and I could clearly make out ears; a bunny, and a small one at that.
I armed myself with a leaf of lettuce and went out back, careful to bar KC from going out with me. KC was our lovable fat Labrador, and he had a pension for killing rats that made nests under the house and in the attic. While a bunny is not a rat, it’s still a small something in the backyard and he couldn’t be trusted.
I crouched low with the leaf of lettuce held out before me, moving slowly toward the little guy as he munched away at the weeds growing amid the grass, seemingly oblivious to my existence. After moving only a few steps I got the feeling that he had noticed me and wasn’t frightened. I’m not sure what it was that told me this, but I walked the rest of the way and carefully scooped up the little black palm-sized bunny.
We called around, asked all the neighbors, but to no avail. No one would claim him, and no one seemed to know from where he came.
So, we built a hutch, read up on all things bunny, and did our best to care for him in the almost ten years we had him. During all this time he was very sweet and would flop over on his side allowing me to stroke him and talk to him for however long as I wished, sometimes turning his head to lick at my hand.
During his last few days he was on his side though he wouldn’t roll to his feet to look up at me expectantly. Not now, not ever. He had had a stroke, and could only move his head, the rest of his body paralyzed. He still had his appetite, and so I fed him a banana, holding it carefully so as not to get bitten.
The family, as a whole, decided to have him put down.
I was there with my mother in the backyard during the process, a different backyard this time, but a backyard none the less.
He’s buried now, just outside my window in a small grave covered in stones with a small wooden tombstone.
“A good bunny.”
Those words were mine, though I don’t recall what they were from, only that I said them in relation to him. True words, none the less.
So, yes, bananas make me sad and now you know why.