No-Clutter Coco

When we proposed the idea of a party to celebrate our visiting daughter Liz’s birthday last week, she said, “I’d enjoy a cake and a family gathering, but I’m on a mission to de-clutter my house and my life. Don’t buy me a present, or give me anything the kids won’t want me to throw away later. It’ll just be more clutter.”

That same day, when my husband, Jeff, and Liz’s four young children returned to the house after an excursion to the park, anyone could see a conspiracy was afoot. Giggles, fierce whispers of “Don’t tell!” and other signs of excitement showed that they’d dreamed up something.

“What’s going on?” I inquired.

But none of the children would tell me anything except “It’s a surprise for Mom’s birthday party.”

The next day, when the party began, Grandpa Jeff and the children went into the garage and came back with a large cardboard box. They proudly set it in front of Liz. As she began to open it, I heard her gasp, “There’s something alive in here.”

And there was—a lovely young rabbit with silky brown fur, a twitching nose, and dark coffee-bean eyes.

“Dad,” Liz protested. “It’s adorable, but I can’t keep a rabbit at my house.”

“I know,” he replied smugly. “We only have it for two days. It’s a rental.”

A rented rabbit?

“We went to the feed store this afternoon to see the baby chicks and ducks,” Jeff explained. “They had a pen of little rabbits. I thought Liz and the kids might like to have a rabbit for a few days, so I rented this one. We have to bring it back on Saturday morning.”

This is one of the things we love about living in a small town. We don’t have store managers with policy manuals here, shaking their heads at the idea of anything not covered in the book. Instead, we have the nice guy at the feed store, who looked down into four little children’s faces and decided to rent out a rabbit.

The experiment involved a certain amount of risk, of course, but none of the potential problems materialized. The children touched their new friend, Coco the bunny, with gentle hands. Coco turned out to be a people-lover, who sat cheerfully on each child’s lap in turn, washing his (or perhaps her) face with no signs of panic or distress. As the children packed for the trip home on Saturday morning, they patted the bunny goodbye over and over. They’ll never forget Coco.

The fee for two days of rental rabbit and a bag of food? $7.25. See? You can still find a bargain in a small town. And not a bit of clutter was involved.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Duenas on April 4, 2012 at 3:26 am

    I love this idea! To bad I can’t rent my daughter a hampster and my husband a bulldog. Everyone would get what they want while nobody had to give what they don’t want 😉


    • Posted by Mary Johnson on April 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

      I hear you! Only Jeff would come up with this idea–and only in a little town like this could he make it work!


  2. Posted by meimay on April 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    $7.25 for two days. Good deal!


  3. Posted by Angie Werner on April 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Thoroughly enjoying your blog! Miss seeing your smiling face!


    • Thanks, Angie! Miss you, too! Come see us when you travel through Arizona next. And if you like the blog, don’t forget to click “follow” over on the right side there. It’s fun to have these conversations!


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