Wednesday night, Elijah walked out of the house with nothing but a towel and a worried facial
expression. It was late - after 10pm – and Nathan and I had been outside by his car having a deep adult
conversation. Elijah looked anxious and it gave us reason to pause before we demanded he get back
inside and put clothes on.

“I, ummm, I have something to tell you. But I don’t want Logan to know I told because he will be mad!”
he said in a rush while trying to hold back tears.

“What is it Elijah?” I asked, curiosity peaked. I don’t know what went through Nathan’s mind, but my
mind was racing with the prospect of something broken. Window. Door. Hole in the drywall. Something
expensive we would have to fix because of careless horseplay.

He started to cry, but his need to tell the truth won over. “While we were in the hay field, we found
some baby bunnies. We brought them home and put them in a container. We were going to sneak them
in our suitcase and take them to Grandma’s tomorrow. Logan said you would be mad.” The floodgates
opened and he covered his face in his hands.

I had to quickly overcome my shock. This wasn’t at all what I expected! Then came relief. Mom and I
raised three wild bunnies when I was a kid. It was fun! A can of cat milk replacer and an eye dropper is
certainly cheaper than a broken window! The relief didn’t last long though. “Elijah, where are the
bunnies now?’ I asked with a little bit of urgency.

“They’re in my cubby in the garage. On the shelf so Lil’ can’t get them.” He saw the immediate danger of
punishment was passed and had started to dry up.

Inside the shop, I found his winter coat balled up on the top of his cubby shelf. Careful not to dump or
spill or drop anything, I pulled it down and unwrapped a Kroger brand food storage container no bigger
than my two fists. The lid was sealed but inside, I could see two Cottontail bunnies huddled in the
corner.

“Elijah! You can’t keep bunnies in this container with the lid on top! They will suffocate!” I quickly
peeled back the lid and was relieved to find them both breathing.

He started to cry again so I had to change my tone. The bunnies were alive. They were pretty easy to
take care of. Nobody was hurt. Nothing was broken. This was NOTHING compared to what I had in mind.
Nathan jumped in.

“It’s ok, Buddy. You’re not in trouble. The bunnies are alive. We just wanted to make sure you knew that
a storage container like this is not a good way to keep any creature. They will die from lack of air. Go get
dressed and we’ll figure out a plan.”

We all went inside and while Elijah ran to get dressed, Nathan and I just looked at each other and
shrugged. This wasn’t first time they brought home a critter and it won’t be the last. Although bunnies
are much different than toads, frogs, earthworms and crawdads, they are certainly cuter and in their
current stage of life, probably a pretty safe bet to make it in life. Their eyes were open and they were
able to move around. No crisis today. Just another Downey Boy Adventure.

*Thursday*

The boys took the bunnies with them up to Sheridan where they were scheduled to camp out for three
nights. Instead of smuggling them in their suitcases, we used an empty LEGO cardboard box. After some
internet searching, we determined the bunnies were 3-5 weeks old and would be eating milk and
probably munching on some greens too. Mom was thrilled; Dad played along. By the time I left to come
back home, one of the bunnies was eating from a syringe and they both were climbing around. The boys
know they have to turn them loose when they are big enough to make it on their own but for now, let
me introduce you to Bob and Jerry.