Barnabas. A rabbit. To the vet, an ordinary, brown-gray, seven-pound will-bite sticker on a chart. To my friends, a spoiled, somewhat stupid (because he doesn’t look like a cat) rabbit, ready to attack at one advance. To some gruff and unfeeling acquaintances, dinner — fricasseed, best with gravy. To my farmer dad, an asset, a multiplier, face like a thousand others, staring out from a cage. Barnabas.
But to me? Friend, companion, delight. Barnabas is my floppy-eared, fuzzy baby. Entertainer, he leaps, twisting in mid-air like an over-caffeinated acrobat. A talented, imaginative dancer, frisking to some secret melody no human can hear.
His white-rimmed nose quivers with eagerness as he performs his role as a beggar, patiently, nonchalantly waiting until I respond with my own oft-rehearsed performance.
He is a mischief-maker, calmly and deliberately eating the spines of antique books, gnawing the baseboard, nibbling bite-sized holes in the delicious drapes. He scatters litter everywhere to announce his preference for a different brand and tips his dish over to pick out the three and a half oat flakes at the bottom.
Barnabas. My welcoming committee. The one who needs me. The one who waits for me to appear each morning and evening. My protector, my watch-dog, my bunny. My companion and friend. Barnabas.