Earthworms’ Castings: Bunny Karma

Dead Bunny

By Jean Ponzi

Once in the summer I went with friends to a farm with a beautiful swimming pool. This pool was built out on a sunny plateau with a long view of Ozark hills. A glorious holiday time and place.

Frolicking toward a morning swim, friend Joyce and I were shocked to discover a small brown rabbit, trapped in the filter compartment. Drowned.

I’ve known Joyce since we were ardent young feminists, the type of independent women who would hoist, haul, or doggedly push, choosing to eschew getting help from a guy.

But on this fine vacation day we charged back up the path from the pool, hollering willy-nilly in classic helpless damsel style: “Dead Bunny! Dead Bunny!” until we got the attention of Dale, the man I would soon choose to marry.

At that moment, however, Dale was a guy to whom I clamored! Who trooped off to fish that carcass out of the pool and hurl it out of sight into bushes below.

Our match blossomed as an interdependent partnership, in a circle of generous, helpful friends. And to this day, our rallying cry “Dead bunny!” will remind a person to shape up and do their part, if anyone should happen to act a little helplessly silly.

The other morning in our kitchen, yawning as I poured myself a steaming cup o’ joe, I was shocked to discover, down on the floor, a dark stream meandering out from under the fridge. Had Dale spilled coffee? Had something overflowed?

I grabbed a sponge and started to mop up. This was not liquid. This was glop! Thick and gelatinous, sticking to the floor. I had to drop to all fours and scrub with all my strength.

Recovering from an injury, Dale was not able to get down and help me, but he charged right in to provide advice.

“Could be the drain pan’s clogged,” he mused, and offered me directions to check under the coil-cover.

I am a middle-aged feminist now, and I know where to find my refrigerator coils. I noted, in a rather scouring tone, that Dale should be proud to have wed an individual who regularly vacuums her household’s coils. And can figure out – thank you – how to inspect her drain pan. Which was clean and dry.

Odd. There was nothing in the fruit drawers decomposing. What could be causing this foul rivulet? I reached for the freezer door, intending to mix some breakfast juice. I pulled on the door. I yanked on that door. It was stuck shut.

“Hmmm,” I said, examining a brownish coating on the freezer door seal. Faithful hubby observed the situation too, seated safely across the room, sporting a faint smile.

“Dead Bunny! Dead Bunny!” Dale squealed, waggling a finger of wild revelation at the top of the fridge. A limp blue carton of Blue Bunny brand, Bunny Tracks flavor ice cream was perched up there, still leaking a tell-tale trickle of goo.

Ahhhh. It all came clear: the night before, fixing supper, I pulled that carton from the freezer to excavate a frosty bag of peas. Set the ice cream aside, for a moment . . .

Was this a case of middle-aged feminist brain? Or the righteous equalizing force of Dead Bunnies!

I feel helpless to decide.

Tune into Earthworms enviro-conversations, hosted by Jean Ponzi, podcasting from KDHX St. Louis Independent Media, at www.kdhx.org.