When I was in elementary school, I went to California every year to spend the summer on my grandparents’ farm. Before you ask, it rocked and my brothers and I did all kinds of crazy awesome shit. Also though, it was my job to feed the rabbits. My brothers had to feed the cows which was a lot harder and required a pitchfork. I merely had to take a coffee can full of feed and pour it into each of their food cages, I think there were like seven of them. My favorite was Ruby, an all-white rabbit with shocking red eyes.

Unfortunately, I often forgot to feed the rabbits. I was pretty sure my grandfather fed them if I didn’t, and for some reason I never wanted to do it. I loved the rabbits, I guess I just hated having a job. I think I might have been a spoiled little brat.

Anyway, one day, I go into the backyard because my grandparents and brothers are back there, talking. My grandfather asked me if I had fed the rabbits. I said no, and tried to remember the last time I had. Must’ve been a week. I tell him I’ll do it right now, and get the food and walk over to the cages.

Once I get there, I see that Ruby has ants all over her body. I start shrieking and, realizing she’s dead, sobbing. I turn back to my family with tears in my eyes and they’re all doubled over laughing. Horrified, I announce how much I hate them and run inside the house. I grab the book I was reading (I’m guessing it was a Babysitter’s Club book) and run out the front door before realizing I have nowhere to go, so I cower on the side of the house, reading my book in the protection of the bushes.

A little while later they go inside and realize I’m gone, I can hear everything. My grandmother thinks I will return soon. My grandfather feels especially bad and decides to go look for me in his truck. I get great satisfaction out of this as I see him drive down the street and that’s the last thing I remember.

I have no idea when I decided to come out of hiding or if there were any repercussions. I can still feel the horror in my body from when I first saw that rabbit and realized they tricked me into seeing it. I still wonder to this day if I was the one who starved it to death or if it had some kind of disease. I’m not especially traumatized, but that was pretty messed up.


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