What's cuter than bunnies? Let's be honest, probably nothing is cuter than bunnies. So you'll understand the heartbreaking nature of this sad-but-true tale, in which I play both the protagonist and the antagonist (and the executioner!).
One of my summer jobs in college was working with the maintenance "crew" at a local airport. As the sole member of the one-man "crew," it was I who was responsible for cutting roughly 150 acres of grass on a weekly basis. Fun stuff.
It took me almost no time to master the lawn mower (a Scag Tiger Cub), which guzzled diesel gasoline like Gatorade and pumped some awful black stuff back out into the environment. But I loved riding that polluter around on hot summer afternoons. Airplane mechanics took great pride in making fun of my pale complexion and slender build, and they taught me much of what I needed to know about the job. Much, but not all.
What they had failed to tell me was that I should pay special attention to certain areas of the airport grounds, as they are home to several species of wild animals. Guess I should've seen that one coming.
I had become quite skilled at rounding corners, turning on a dime, cutting in alternating swaths, avoiding damp soil, identifying troublesome objects (such as boulders, rocks and roots) - the whole nine yards. I was an artist, and even I admired my work.
But not for too long.
It all came crashing down one day when I drove the mower a little too quickly through a heavy patch of grass. While going over the patch, I heard what I believed to be the sound of sticks snapping in the blades and saw what I thought to be dandelions shooting out from the mower. But upon returning, I got a clear view of what I had just destroyed.
Something was moving beneath the grass shavings. And then I saw them. Below me lay the disfigured remnants of a litter of bunnies, writhing in a messy, glossy pool of red, brown and green. Pieces of them and their unstrung fur coats were strewn about everywhere. I had killed something like a baker's dozen of bunnies that were alive and young just a few moments before I had crossed their paths, and all I could do was shut off the mower and hate myself forever.
I didn't last much longer at that job.
So sorry, bunnies. I can't look at you guys the same as I once did. Please forgive the lawn-mower man.