Once upon a time long ago in Cannon Beach, someone released their pet rabbits into the wild. The strong and resourceful survived and today their descendants can be seen frolicking in the early morning light and nibbling grass all day long.
They seem to thrive here in the Tolovana neighborhood. They are sweet, gentle creatures, who are entirely too trusting. They seem to be rather nearsighted and some of them, well let’s face it, aren’t too bright.
Meet Butterscotch and Blackie. They grew up in our flower bed and loved to hide in the heather. They were inseparable. For the past year they and six of their friends would go back and forth between our place (The Lost Art of Nursing Museum), and the Inn at Cannon Beach.
We always enjoyed the bunnies even though they ate so many of our flowers and shrubs. We just kept planting more. Live and let live.
We had never fed or named them until our grandchildren arrived for a visit last June. Our 5-year-old Sydney insisted on making them carrot salads. She would decorate a lettuce leaf with bits of carrots and giggle as they ate.
After their visit we started paying a lot more attention to the bunnies. Our German Shepherd thought we were crazy. After all, if you’ve seen one bunny, you’ve seen them all. But that’s just not true.
This has been a very hard winter. Every morning after my husband, Gary, hung out the flag, he would give the bunnies some carrots and broccoli. Soon Butterscotch, Blackie, and friends would assemble on our driveway and salute as the flag went up.
Recently, our favorite bunnies began to disappear. The first one to go missing was Butterscotch. Then, Blackie disappeared. Whitey, who lives across the street, vanished. Their numbers dwindled. Saturday, March 18, the crisis came to a head. Not a single bunny showed up! We were panicked and puzzled but our neighbors were not.
Was it a fox? A hawk? The brutal winter weather? No, someone was trapping and relocating the bunnies, a practice they have vowed to discontinue. The mystery is solved.
One of the truly unique things about Cannon Beach is our free range domestic bunnies. I am joining with other bunny lovers in the neighborhood to try and convince skeptics that our bunnies are an asset not a liability.
Easter is just around the corner. Tourists will be pouring into Cannon Beach and they love our bunnies! Visitors of all ages and nationalities are surprised, charmed, and delighted by them. The bunnies are photographed almost as much as our beautiful scenery.
First, we’re getting the bunnies a Facebook page and forming a fan club. Who knows where this could lead? Maybe the bunnies will become our town’s official animal mascot. By next spring we could have a bunny festival on Easter weekend with contests for the best photographs, original artwork, poems, and stories about bunnies. There could be a carrot cake bake-off and a “bunny bop” dance party.
Sarah Nagle, owner of the Surfcrest Market, has volunteered to be my partner in this venture. On Easter weekend we will be launching the Cannon Beach Bunnies Facebook Page and Fan Club. Stop by Sarah’s bright blue store and join in the fun!