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>The Silence of the Bunnies

>Now this could haunt my dreams:

We’ve been entrusted with the care of Ruby for a couple of weeks. She may look like a rabbit but behaves more like a Sphinx, her silent inscrutability causing me to project all manner of implacable menace into her unblinking gaze. Dogs and cats, you know where you are with them. Not Ruby.

While it seems like every chapter book now contains, like the Obligatory Sex Scene of every 1970s adult potboiler, a de rigueur Escape of the Class Pet, the care of caged beasts were not a part of my elementary education. I can’t imagine being able to concentrate on the SRA box with something like this staring at me all day long.

(Photos by Richard, a braver man than I.)

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Andy Laties says:

    >At The Children’s Bookstore, our bunny Potter nibbled on many a book. Later, when we brought the beast home, Potter destroyed more. Be warned.

  2. Roger Sutton says:

    >I’m actually more worried about Ruby chewing my face off. Silently.

  3. >Sharp. Pointy. Teeth.

  4. shellieek says:

    >She looks like those fascist bunnies in Watership Down. I’ve seen friendlier serpents.

  5. Greg Leitich Smith says:

    >Wow. This must be one of the bunnies Anya was so concerned about…

  6. >If you wrap her up in a towel — like a little burrito bunny — and stroke her ears, she will chatter with happiness. I’m not kidding.

  7. >Or tell Richard to do it.

  8. Rachel (a-big-apple) says:

    >Bunnies are often inscrutable and like to stare…but if her ears are pointed at you, chances are she approves of your presence. Give her a sheet of printer paper–or better yet, some junk mail–and she may just decide you’re all right. My rabbit’s latest favorite things to wreck are credit card offers and Busy Bunnies by John Schindel and Steven Holt, given to her for the express purpose of distracting her from her fixation on my precious Collected Works of Emily Dickinson.

  9. Ruby (the rabbit) says:

    >I’ve been watching you. And now I’m reading your blog. Sincerely, Ruby

  10. Anonymous says:

    >I’m so glad Ruby actually wrote in before someone had to fake it. Especially since I’ve been thinking about doing that all day.

    Also, her eyes are following me.

  11. >I imagine she’s got (cue extreme Pythonesque Scottish accent) greeeeeat big teeeeeth!

    (Actually, I think she looks very sweet!)

  12. >If you can rub her stomach, I think you can hypnotize her. I saw it done once by a small girl.

  13. >Time to break out the Bunnicula books.

  14. >Put some sunglasses over those Mona Lisa eyes when you are working.

    She’s cute.

  15. Julie Larios says:

    >We owned rabbits when we lived out on Whidbey Island, and if there is anything dumber than a chicken, it is a bunny. Nothing at all inside the skull. That’s why they stare and are inscrutable and can be easily hypnotized. They have no true volition, only appetite and digestion, and whatever sensory stuff is going in, it’s not registering. Beware animals with sharp claws, sharp teeth and no brains.

    However: yes, they are cute. And I never tried the burrito blanket trick.

  16. Carol B. says:

    >What is that pink stroller (visible in the first photo) for? Are you supposed to walk the bunny?

  17. Andy Laties says:

    >Maybe the stroller is for the bunny’s future offspring.

    Norton Juster told me he has tried to convince Eric Carle to write a book entitled “The Very Horny Bunny Rabbit.”

  18. Roger Sutton says:

    >Ruby likes to push the stroller around (with her nose), like some demented Mia Farrow character mourning its emptiness.

  19. >Aww. Biting and bumping into your furniture is she?

    What clean floors you have Roger, I see no dust bunnies.

  20. Roger Sutton says:

    >Oh, no, no, no–that’s the home, downstairs from us, of the tidy and glamorous Dutch! You don’t even want to hear about what the same sunporch looks like upstairs; I’ll just say newspapers and nineteen-year-old dog.

  21. jean gralley says:

    >I had a friend who carried her rabbit everywhere in one of those baby slings. Once she even managed to visit a friend in the hospital with the bunny hidden away. As they spoke, the patient stroked and stroked the bunny on her chest and when she finally handed him back found he had entirely nibbled off a mole from her neck!

    Btw, the bunny was of the Dutch variety and named ZeiderZee; always thought that was a cool name.


  22. Roger Sutton says:

    >Jean, that sounds like an A.M. Homes story!

  23. >Do you neighbors do windows? I could use some of that in my place.

    Coney Island is named for these hopping creatures.

    Still think she is cute.

  24. Wendy Edelson says:

    >Oh Dear!
    One week into first grade I actually got suspended for a week for letting the bunnies go free. There were 4 that looked like Ruby’s relatives and I just couldn’t understand why they had to be cooped up in that hutch.

  25. >Just be happy that she’s a she. Our Harry not only nibbles and nips, but also, well, you know.

  26. Beth Kephart says:

    >I know a little girl named Ruby. This bunny’s just as cute and, I bet, as tame-able.

  27. Monica Edinger says:

    >Go away for a few days and it’s bunnies all the way down.

  28. Yuyi Morales says:

    >My childhood rabbit story end up with death, do you want to hear about it?

  29. Natasha Wing says:

    >I think Ruby is going to stare at you until you read her favorite bedtime story, The Night Before Easter.

  30. Anonymous says:

    >So you couldn't have concentrated on the SRA box? I had those SRA boxes too and would have been glad to have a bunny to zone out on! (instead of tan, brown, red, green…)

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