— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published July 30, 2006. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.
What can you expect from a day that starts out with a fight with your pet rabbit?
It happened early Wednesday, when Sweet Pea, a little gray angora who roams freely in my home, decided to attack the electrical wires behind my washer and dryer.
I thought I had the area blockaded well enough to keep him out, but bunnies are extremely adept at getting into places they don’t belong.
I chased him out once, sprayed all the wires with a product designed to deter gnawing pets, pushed the appliances back into place and reinforced the blockade.
Five minutes later, a belligerent bunny flattened himself out like a rat and crawled UNDER the dryer and back into his little nibble nook.
I don’t know whether it was his defiance or the danger of catching my house on fire that set me off, but soon, there I was, shouting, banging on the dryer and generally pitching a fit.
I pulled the appliances out again, this time disengaging the dryer from its vent. Bunny escaped. I couldn’t get the dryer vent connected again. I started yelling again, this time with major threats directed toward the small gray streak disappearing at the speed of light into the next room.
Bunnies express anger by loudly thumping one of their back feet. By the time I got into the other room, Sweet Pea was behind the couch thumping away. I stomped my foot vigorously to let him know I was mad, too!
As sanity slowly crept in, I realized this scenario probably could have won me a bunch of money on “America’s Funniest Videos.”
I drove to work pondering, “Well, just who was the dumb bunny in that little episode?”
My rumble with my rabbit was truly absurd, but it made me realize how easily we become involved in ridiculous conflicts with other humans.
Apply enough stress, and two adults will degenerate to the communication level of a couple of 2-year-olds. Spouses, friends, co-workers and church members quickly fall prey to the tendency to blame, accuse and threaten.
It takes a while before we’re willing to step back, see the other person’s point of view and have a sane conversation that leads to a compromise.
Bunnies forgive quickly, mainly because they have short memories, so Sweet Pea and I are best buddies again.
We’ve reached a healthy compromise. He steers clear of the dryer, and I use my indoor voice.
Hopefully, he’s taught me a good lesson. Maybe the next time a situation or a person causes me some trouble or inconvenience, I won’t be so immature. I won’t yell or fuss or shout threats.
I’ll just stomp my foot loudly, turn around and scamper away.