Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
-William Shakespeare’s Epitaph
You can go through your whole childhood always believing one story. Then one day, you grow up, start a blog, publicly post said story, only to uncover a decade’s old mystery that is now threatening to tear your family apart.
Confused? Yeah, me too.
Let’s back track a little then, shall we? Last week, I wrote a post aptly titled 3 Reasons Why I’m Not an Animal Person in which I told 3 stories about unfortunate experiences I’ve had with animals. They featured ravenous dogs, killer bees, and one beloved pet bunny named Trixie.
As you already know, Make the Welkin Dance posts are always carefully fact-checked. We have a full team of diligent researchers who screen every post. We may live in an age of post-truth, but you can rest assured that here at MTWD we are still very concerned with truth so that you, our valued readers, can feel confident that you are not spreading fake news on Facebook (or whichever social media platform you prefer for engaging in friendship-ending debates). All that to say that usually this team of researchers includes one of my two older brothers, who like to inform me of any possible mistakes after I post something. Suffice to say, they’re very talented in this department.
Fact-checking, no lies, 100% truthiness, blah blah blah Got it, right? Okay so last week, I originally wrote the following about my pet bunny:
Her name was Trixie. She was my pet bunny. I loved watching her run around our backyard. She was the closest I ever got to experiencing that magical connection everyone else seems to have with their furry best friends. To my dismay, our love was simply not meant to be. Like this story, her life came to a swift, yet painful end.
We kept Trixie in a big cage outside. She even had her own bed, which she enjoyed pooping on (ahh sweet memories). Then one day, a random predatory bird ripped through her cage and ate her. The bird was kind enough to leave some chunks behind so that we could identify her.
Mere tenths of a second after the post went live, my brother wrote a comment about how I was totally off: “The funniest part of your post is the way you described the bunny’s death, because it couldn’t be further from the truth… completely wrong… talk to [our brother] if you want to know the truth smh HAHAHA!!!”
[A quick sidenote before continuing with this post: In order to maintain my brothers anonymous, I’ll do what I usually do in real life and refer to each of them as “my brother.” The effect of this is that all of my college friends believe I have one brother who has two careers, two homes in different cities, and two wives. Quite the double life. Point is, if you get confused about which brother I’m referring to, know that I’m totally doing it on purpose.]
Back to the story. My brother thought my understanding of the events was hilarious and kept laughing:
The problem was, I was pretty sure I was right. After all, it was my dad who had told me this story. Why would he lie to me about this? And if he did lie, why did he choose to tell me that my bunny died at the hands (claws?, beak?, ???) of some ferocious beast? There are much better lies to tell a child. Like “your bunny went to live at the San Diego Zoo” or “Trixie left for college.” Even “your bunny ran away to fulfill its lifelong dream of being a magicians assistant” would’ve been okay.
To be honest, my memories about Trixie are a little fuzzy. We’re talking almost 20 years ago, pre-21st century stuff. No one actually remembers when all this went down, but I’m estimating that I was between 4 to 6 years of age. Which meant that I couldn’t rely on only my memories. In order to get to the bottom of this, I had to reopen the case and start a massive investigation. Heck, I was ready to call Sarah Koenig and tell her I had excellent material for Serial season 3.
First order of action: Talk to all the eye witnesses.
I called my brother, and before even greeting him, I said, “How did my pet rabbit die? I’ve received word that you know the truth.” Since he hadn’t read my blog yet (even though 8 hrs had already gone by since I posted it), he was confused why I was randomly calling to inquire about a pet I had almost 2 decades ago:
My brother: “I don’t know, Evelyn. I think we forgot to feed it. Or we just didn’t take care of it.”
Me: “What?! That’s crazy. My dad said something ate it.”
My brother: “Yeah, maybe. I never actually saw the cage after it happened, so I don’t really know.”
Later on, my brother told me that it happened when I went away to camp. I left, and no one fed my rabbit while I was gone. Seemingly plausible, except I was too young to go to camp. I went to camp for the first time when I was in 5th grade; so the timeline was way off…
On a different note, turns out, my dad was the only one who saw the cage. He grimaced the moment I asked. He too was confused as to why I was asking at all, but he still told me his version of the events. He stuck to the same story: something ate my rabbit. The scene of the crime was awful. Chunks of meat. Pieces of hair. Dried up blood. Even a chalk bunny rabbit outline showing where Trixie took her last breaths.
All the signs pointed to a violent murder.
There was ONE unusual detail that seemed to indicate another layer to the story. My dad said the cage was still intact. No holes or obvious forced openings. Whatever ate Trixie did so through the metal mesh. Or from inside. *Cue creepy music.* By the way, this wasn’t your regular cage. No, this was a piece of fine Mexican craftsmanship. My brother had made the cage, and it was practically a bunny mansion, complete with multiple rooms and wood floors. Parts of the cage were made completely out of wood, so theoretically, Trixie should have been able to hide from the serial killer.
So why didn’t Trixie run away?
That question haunted me. Even after my mom and my aunt confirmed my dad’s story, I still wondered why didn’t Trixie take shelter.
Finally, I called the last witness: my brother.
Me: “Where were you the night of the 28th?!”
My brother: “What?”
Me: “ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!” *Shines bright light in his face*
My brother: “Ahhh! My eyes!”
That’s not how it went down. This was a phone call, remember? Never forget that it’s all in the details. Details that my brother was quite willing to divulge. He was familiar with the cage since he built it, so he also pointed out that the rabbit definitely had shelter. My brother was responsible for feeding the bunny, except when (and this is where the plot thickens) he went on a camping trip with my uncle at which point he passed the responsibility to my brother!
Now who else had mentioned a “camping trip”? Who else had said that Trixie died of starvation or dehydration? MY BROTHER!
I immediately confronted him:
Me: “You killed my rabbit!”
My brother: “What? What are you talking about? I wasn’t responsible for feeding myself, so why would I feed your rabbit?”
Me: “Well, yes. It’s obvious now you DIDN’T FEED my rabbit!”
In conclusion, here’s the latest theory on what happened to Trixie:
My brother forgot to feed my bunny. Trixie slowly died of malnutrition. Then, an animal, most likely a bird, desecrated Trixie’s body postmortem or attacked her when she was too weak to hide.
My brother vehemently denies this theory, while my brother proposed the same theory himself:
My brother: “I’m not accusing him of second or third degree murder, but there was definitely negligence involved.”
While I’m sad to learn that Trixie could’ve been spared, I’ve forgiven my brother because family (usually) always forgives. So I’m not pressing charges. Also, the statute of limitations on involuntary manslaughter involving small mammals in the Leporidae family ran out about 2 years ago. Plus, I might be the victim of voluntary manslaughter at the hands of my family if I keep bringing up Trixie at every family dinner…
In all honesty, it’s not fair to blame this completely on my brother. It was probably never a good idea to keep Trixie outside. Which leads me to my final point:
Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet Bunny: Advice From a Former Pet Owner
- Don’t leave your bunny outside, defenseless against the elements and natural predators.
- Don’t leave a sibling in charge of feeding your pet.
- When your bunny dies, make sure to write a detailed account of what happened in order to use it as evidence against the real perpetrator a decade after it comes to light.
- If you did number 3, be prepared to annoy your family extensively.
- If you’re part of my family, you probably shouldn’t own a pet. And if you already do, I give it a month….
As for Trixie, I’ll always remember her. Wherever she is, I hope it resembles this rose garden I came across in Seattle once. It’s rumored this is where the Easter Bunny likes to vacation and frolic during the summer.