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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My sister's rabbit hole

My sisters neighbour was one of those guys who was very quiet spoken at work but came home and wreaked havoc on the neighbourhood. It was like he saved up his daily frustration and at five o'clock let it loose on his family and the neighbours.

She would often tell me about his ranting and raving at his two step children. She had tried on several occasions to talk nicely to him but all he ever gave her was sour looks that said "Go away." The man was just mean. There was no befriending him and no such thing as love thy neighbour.

My sister has three dogs and treats them better than most people treat their children. She has two teacup poodles and an older black Labrador retriever. One night I was driving down Elizabeth Avenue and I saw a lady who looked vaguely familiar with two poodles on leashes. The dogs were wearing fashionable coats and booties that matched, which also matched what she was wearing. Then I realized why she looked familiar and I said to myself "Oh my God, my sister is a crazy dog lady." I pretended I didn't see her and kept driving.

Her oldest dog Maggie, the black Labrador retriever, is big and lazy and sits around the house. She's absolutely harmless. She used to let Maggie go out on her back veranda to lie in the sun. She never chained her on because there was never a fear she would harm anyone. There was no fence between the two properties and the crazy neighbour's two kids would often play with Maggie.

The kids had a pet white rabbit that they kept in a cage and they would let it run around the garden. Maggie would often sniff it, but had no interest nor the energy to do much more than that.

One evening, she saw her crazy neighbour coming up on the veranda holding Maggie by the collar and screaming for her to come out. Frightened, she opened the door and asked him what was wrong. He said "I just found your dog on my property and if I find him there again I will shoot him." My sister tried to explain that Maggie was completely harmless and was only being friendly. He didn't want to hear it. He had already worked himself up into a frenzy and she knew it was only going to get worse. He told her to put Maggie on a chain or he would bring her to the SPCA himself.

My sister bought a chain and attached it to the veranda. In the daytime, she would let Maggie wander around as she usually did, and before her neighbour got home she would put her on the chain.

One sunny afternoon. She looked out her kitchen window and saw Maggie with something in her mouth. It looked like a teddy bear. So she dropped what she was doing and went out to see what it was. She picked up what looked like a toy rabbit covered in dirt, but it was softer than a toy and quite limp. Then she realized, to her horror that the rabbit was real... It was dead... It was the neighbours!

She looked over at his veranda, and there sat the cage. She couldn't believe what Maggie had done and she thought "Oh my God, he's going to kill her!" She didn't know what to do. She went into complete panic mode. The thought of putting Maggie down was something she could never deal with. She knew the neighbour wouldn't stop until he got his way. She had to come up with a plan to save Maggie's life.

She took the dead rabbit into the kitchen and looked it over. There was no blood or bite marks on it, just dirt. So she put it in kitchen sink and washed it with shampoo. The dried it with a blow dryer. She snuck across the neighbour's yard like a ninja and placed the rabbit in the cage and closed the door. Her thinking was, when the neighbours got home, they would think the rabbit died of natural causes. Then she ran back to her own house and kept Maggie inside for the rest of the day.

Five o'clock came. The neighbour's minivan pulled in their driveway. She watched through the blinds as the family came up the driveway and went into the house. She could her muffled yelling from next door but couldn't make out what they were saying. Her and Maggie stayed inside for the rest of the night.

The next morning was a sunny day. After the neighbour's mini-van pulled away she let Maggie out the back door to make his normal morning rounds. While she did washed the morning dishes she watched Maggie through the kitchen window. He had something in his mouth and he was shaking it. She ran into the garden and played tug-a-war until Maggie let go her grip. To her shock, it was the dead rabbit again covered in mud. She looked at the neighbours veranda. The cage was still there. They must have come home and forgot about the rabbit being there. She ran into her house and started the process all over again. Washing the fur, drying it and sneaking back across the lawn to put the rabbit back in the cage. Then hiding inside the house for the rest of the day.

That evening she watched the family arrive home. Within minutes she heard yelling from the garden. The neighbour had the rabbit in his hands and he was cursing and swearing at the top of his lungs. The wife was crying and the children looked dazed. The guilt was too much for her to bare . She felt so sorry for the children who had lost their pet. She decided to confess. Maybe they would take mercy on Maggie.

She walked across the yard and before she could say anything, his wife asked, "Did you see anyone in our yard today?" Before my sister could answer the crazy neighbour shook the dead rabbit at her and said "I will find out who did this and call the police."
My sister froze with fear, she couldn't get any words out. Through her tears, the wife tried to explain what happened. The rabbit had died two nights before when her husband was handling it. He had dug a hole in the backyard and buried the rabbit then left the cage on the back veranda. The children were quite upset and blamed him for killing their pet. He swore it was an accident. My sister thought to herself "Maggie most have dug it up and brought it home.

The wife went on to explain that when they came home yesterday the rabbit was back in the cage, all clean and laid out. They didn't know what to think. Then today, to have the same thing happen again! She was convinced the house was haunted. "The wife screamed at him, "It's coming back to haunt you! Are you sure you didn't kill that rabbit?" "No!" he screamed back "Someone did this to me!" as he stared at my sister accusingly. "No one knew the rabbit died only us!" She screamed back. The wife pushed the teary eyed children past him into the house. He stood there with a confused look on his face and a dead rabbit in his hand. He looked at my sister and said, "Are you sure you didn't see anyone around this yard today?"

My sister looked him straight in the eye and said, "No. I was here all day. I didn't see a thing." She turned and marched back to her own house and closed the door. She peaked out through the kitchen blinds to see him shoveling the dirt back over the rabbit's hole. Looking down at Maggie she thought, "Maybe that rabbit should come back and haunt him again tomorrow!"
Within a week, a "For Sale" sign was on the house. The neighbour said the ghost of the rabbit freaked him out too much.