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A Warm Embrace from a Furry Earth Angel

A pet rabbit gives comfort to a grieving child.


I didn’t know Johnny, my neighbor’s eight-year-old nephew, well but I knew his mother was very sick. When she died I wished there were something I could do.

One day I decided to invite him over to play with my daughters on our trampoline. But instead of joining in the fun, Johnny sat staring forlornly at the ground.

“I’m going to give him a rabbit show,” my daughter Breton announced. She stood on our deck and took out her silver marten 4-H rabbits, with their distinctive black-and-white tuxedo markings.

“Look, Mom,” Breton whispered a few minutes later. Johnny was sitting by himself, holding a big black rabbit. “It’s Rue,” she said.

“Better take him away from Johnny,” I said. Rue hated to be handled, no matter how lovingly.

“Oh, Mom,” Breton pleaded. “Just look at them!”

I looked closer. It was uncanny. Johnny wasn’t holding Rue…Rue was holding Johnny! The rabbit was resting on Johnny’s chest, paws around his neck in an unmistakable hug. They stayed that way for half an hour, and Johnny wore a big grin when he left.

“What in the world came over Rue?” Breton asked me later. I knew exactly what it was. Not a what, but a who.


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