I was biking along the local greenway when I saw a woman stopped looking down at a little furry creature on the path. It was a bunny. It had the coloring of a wild bunny, but it was clearly not running away from the woman. I stopped my bike and asked her if the bunny was injured. She said she didn't know but she didn't think so. For whatever reason it was not running away.
"Maybe it's a pet that has escaped," I said. I didn't know if that was true but something told me this bunny needed help and would not hurt me. So, I knelt, and poured water from my water bottle into my cupped palm holding it out to the bunny. Instantly, the little bunny began lapping the water out of my hand. I kept pouring more water into my cupped palm and he kept drinking until my water bottle was half empty.
"I can't take him," said the woman who had first stopped. I couldn't either, but that didn't matter. If we left the poor bunny, a coyote would eat him for sure. What choice did I have? I picked the little bunny up and put him in my bike basket. He did not squirm or seem the slightest bit afraid.
The woman said, "You're my hero!"
Tell that to my husband, I thought. My guess is those wouldn't be the first words on his lips when I showed up with the bunny.
I waved and began to bike away wondering how on earth I was going to bike five-miles along a busy road with all the traffic and get this bunny safely to my house. I hadn't really had time to consider what I would do if I safely reached my house. I didn't suspect Hubby would be thrilled to see me arriving with yet another lost pet. But first, what would the bunny think of riding in a bumpy bicycle basket?
With complete astonishment I watched the bunny settle calmly into my basket, looking forward, twitching his nose, and laying his ears back.
"All right," he seemed to say, "I am ready now. Let's go."
(click on arrow in photo below for video of Bunny's wild ride.)
I rode slowly just in case he tried to jump out but he never even attempted to do so. Even when we hit the heaviest traffic and the roaring sounds of cars whizzing right beside us, he lay quietly in my basket. He seemed to know that wherever he was going was better than where he had been.
On the way home, I passed a pet store. It was only 9 A.M. on a Sunday morning. They couldn't possibly be open. Nonetheless, I prayed for a miracle that they would be. They were. The pet store had just opened. I went inside with my little bunny cuddled against my heart. I had already named him Honeybunny.
I explained the situation to the very kind sales people. They could not take him, but they gave him a bowl of water and gave me a free bag of food for him.
Honeybunny and I returned to my bicycle, and he nestled calmly again in the basket. We made it safely home.
My husband, after the initial shock of opening the door to his wife holding a bunny with a pleading look on her face, helped me prepare our dog crate for Honeybunny. We got him water and put his food in a bowl. I brought him carrots and lettuce which he loved, instantly crunching with apparent delight.
Then he washed his face, lay down, and closed his eyes.
We went to church, where we sang a song about Jesus saving the lost.
My eyes welled with tears as I thought about Honeybunny, lost and frightened for who knows how long on that greenway, alone and afraid in a hostile world that he was not familiar with.
He had to have been terrified. Somehow, he knew that he could trust me and that I would take him to a place where he would be safe.
What a wonderful symbol God had sent me of what happens to all of us when we put our trust in Jesus. We are alone in a dangerous world where evil and darkness forever threaten to harm and consume us. We thirst terribly for righteousness and a place of safety, but are powerless to help ourselves. And then, Jesus lifts us out of the abyss, quenches our thirst with everlasting water, and carries us tenderly to a place of refuge.
After church, a friend helped me find a wildlife refuge (Carolina Waterfowl Rescue - CWR) that takes not only birds in need of rescue, but other animals as well. I sent them a picture of Honeybunny and they quickly told me the bunny was not wild, but clearly domestic. The CWR director said that Honeybunny would've died if I had not rescued him. In all likelihood, he had been dumped by a family who realized bunnies are not as neat and clean as they had hoped, so ditched him on the greenway.
"Thank you for rescuing him," she said, "These guys don't fare very well in the wild."
She told me to bring him to their rescue home right away and they would care for him and find him a new home.
I have to admit, I felt sad giving up my little bunny. I had bonded with him in the short time I'd known him. After all, I was a fellow wanderer, once lost, but now found.