The Story of Zipper and Cuddles

The Story of Zipper and Cuddles, our two family bunnies, is not a very exciting one.

Sure it has violence which seems to be all the rage these days (Pun Alert), but beyond that it’s pretty mundane.

Cuddles was, as you would expect, a very cuddly rabbit. She was all soft white fur and floppy ears, even tempered and the perfect pet for a young girl.

Zipper was sharp and jagged, perpetually cross and furthering the stereotypes that brunettes are mean and vindictive. There was also something in her eyes, a look that I didn’t recognize as disdain until many years later.

Zipper hated everyone and everyone hated Zipper. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Zipper even hated herself and that self-loathing was her everyday companion causing the fits of temper and the lashing out. I’m not 100% certain that bunnies can have self-esteem, but if they can I am sure Zippper’s was in short supply.

Still, the only creature on this planet Zipper did not hate was Cuddles.

They were inseparable, mostly because they shared a hutch, but also because they shared a deep bond that was evident even to my young eyes. The bond of sisters.

Cuddles and Zipper loved each other and though that love in Zipper never carried over to her owners, it was enough for me to see that Zipper was capable of love at all. At five I was quite the optimist, believing that one day Zipper could come to love me as Cuddles did. (Cuddles loved everyone.)

And then it all went to shit.

Cuddles had her pelvis broken in an accident that should have been avoided (my cousin was far too rough when putting Cuddles back in her hutch). She had to be taken inside where she was lovingly nursed back to health by my sister, hand fed and nurtured, cared for with every breath in my darling sister’s being.

It took weeks before Cuddles was ready to go back outside and I could tell that those weeks wore on poor Zipper. Zipper was lonely, fervently plotting her escape every chance she got (she often tried to dig under the fence and escape underground, perhaps imagining a bunny sanctuary just over the horizon). It never mattered how much chickweed I piled in her home (her favourite), she was growing angrier by the second.

Finally when Cuddles returned it seemed to calm Zipper, her nose twitched warmly when we brought Cuddles closer and for the first time since we had brought her home Zipper even took a few tentative hops towards us. This was the only time during our acquaintance that Zipper did not try and disembowel me and I cherished it.

I still cherish it.

Alas Cuddles died that night, her first night out. My sister and I were devastated (my sister because she had lost her loving pet, and myself as I mourned the only creature that made Zipper less of a monster). We buried her in a simple ceremony, my sister standing over the fresh grave in our backyard as I tried to hold Zipper in my arms while she scratched until I bled, bolting for the fence as soon as my abused arms let her go. It was beautiful (the ceremony, not the attack).

Weeks went by and turned to months and Zipper appeared to waste from sadness, the loss of her sister and only friend becoming too hard to handle.

And then things got worse.

Our new dog, a feisty poodle named Frenchie, found Cuddles’ final resting spot either through the power of smell or some odd and unfortunate intuition. Frenchie dug poor Cuddles up, excited at her buried treasure.

My sister had the misfortune of finding the remains of poor dearly departed Cuddles, stumbling upon Frenchie sprawled across our family room couch and chewing on the half rotted skull of her darling bunny, traumatizing her for life. My sister still has nightmares of this moment, the empty sockets starring imploringly at her, the indignity of it all.

(Perhaps I myself have a bit of Zipper’s vindictiveness in me after all as to this day I still laugh at my sister’s disturbed screams. Perhaps this is something I should keep to myself?)

With this last insult Zipper seemed to shatter, watching forlornly as her sister was reburied. But over time Zipper became less despondent. Sure, she was still the devil incarnate but the fight seemed to be drained from her and replaced instead by a desperate fear of our dog.

Zipper’s terror of our young pup only seemed to encourage the poodle. Frenchie wanted more than anything to be friends with the vicious rabbit, playfully bounding across the yard whenever Zipper came outside. Our poor poodle did not understand that eating the rotted flesh of one’s sister does not encourage friendship.

Or perhaps she had just developed a taste for hasenpfeffer?

Time sped by and it was not long before another tragedy befell us. While most of the family was on a long weekend getaway Zipper, already on edge for the last several months, was terrorized under the cover of darkness, scared so deeply that part of her exploded and she was left paralyzed in fear after screaming deeply into the night. My father grudgingly rushed the hated animal to the vet only to find there was nothing to be done. She too passed on, joining Cuddles finally in death.

We placed a marker in the grass by the fence, symbolic of Zipper’s time with us and her successful escape from life. At least dear Zipper would not be dug up by Frenchie, her final resting place an incinerator at a vet’s office far away from Frenchie’s curious nose.

Despite the obvious hatred that Zipper felt towards me I mourned her passing and for many years I despised raccoons, believing the adorable bandits of the mammal world to be the culprit of the murder of my beloved yet terrifying bunny. It wasn’t until many years later that my father gleefully told me the true story.

Zipper had been frightened to death by Frenchie who, while outside on a late night pee, decided to check to see if Zipper was game for a midnight romp, barking playfully at the hutch and waking Zipper from her sleep in what I am sure was the equivalent of a human being waking up to find a strange masked man standing over their bed with a knife.

She had never stood a chance.

With both my sister and I traumatized for good and my father thrilled to be bunny free the story ends, Zipper and Cuddles gone from our lives in all but memory.

Happy Easter, dear reader.

PS. If you would like to know the whole truth about “Zipper and Cuddles” please click here and here.

Epiphany

This particular piece won me the Satire Award in my Grade 12 English Class. It also marks my first foray into Satire and was basically the beginning of my current writing style.
Previously published on FictionPress.com

Disclaimer: This piece was written a decade ago.

I was headed across the field when something hit me. A football; damn jocks. But seriously, when that pigskin hit my head I was awarded with more than a concussion. I got an idea. A realization that made more and more sense as I lay there on the soggy, trampled grass. George Bush is a genius. Now this sounds funny, ha ha, but as the spinning in my brain went on like a disgruntled top everything made sense. This pompous Texan, leader of a nation was an American genius. Now that’s hard to come by. Not that the US is a nation of stupid people, just that they’re … ignorant of other nations.

Of course, Bush isn’t a genius on the scale of Einstein, but I am sure he could hold his own against an average flag bearing, gun crazy patriot. The Prez has already given the world a story. He’s the ultimate villain in an unpopular and senseless controversy. And this was only his first term! Just think of what he could do if he’s re-elected!

But I digress. Bush’s genius lies in his unpopularity. Most of the world dislikes him, but that isn’t the point. The point is that the world knows enough about him to dislike him. All publicity is good publicity and when you run “God’s country, the Land of the Free” you get publicity. After all, this is the United States of America we’re talking about! They’ve never even lost a war. Discounting, of course, Vietnam, Bay of Pigs and Alamo. And the War of 1812 (O Canada). But those don’t count. The other side cheated.

Yet the USA is feared world wide and hated as vastly. They stand there in their country waving stars and stripes and pounding the pledge of allegiance into their youths’ heads as they hand them a gun and ship them off to war to protect the “interest of other nations”. They’re the world’s selfless heroes. They’re only sin is pride for their country!

And what patriotism! Secretly sewing a maple leaf onto their backpacks as they trek across Europe with their thick Texan drawl. Well, maybe not Texas, they’re fiercely patriotic. Perhaps someone from Washington walking around talking about how much they miss their Igloo, hoping nobody recognizes them and spoils their secret that they are really from the greatest country on earth.

The Official (And Officially Unbiased) Biography of Julia

The Official (and Officially Unbiased) Biography of Julia
As told without the aid of Sock Puppets

It was the end of the year 1984 and the world was buzzing with anticipation, a tingling felt across the globe anticipating the start of something amazing, something life changing, something pretty damn cool. The days ticked by and in a little house on the Canadian prairies, preparations had begun among the Porter Family.

Julia would soon be born.

The special day finally came on December 29th, 1984 and a sigh of relief was heard across the world. She had arrived.

The first few years passed without much of note, as the early years often do. Scattered memories and slightly significant moments filled the time; some capitalized (The Swan Dive, The Cat-Scratch Toto) but most not (a move to Langley, other random events). But even without any stand out moments it was clear from the start that Julia was Somebody.

Julia was a beautiful baby, a beautiful toddler, a beautiful child. Julia was and is a beautiful person. Her easy charm settled naturally about her and even at a young age she was the envy of many. Capable of putting minds at ease wherever she went and likeable beyond anything the Porter’s had seen before.

After the family uprooted twice, leaving both Calgary AB and Langley BC, they settled in Victoria BC where Julia finally realized her true calling:

She was an Island Girl through and through.

Julia spent countless hours combing the ocean shores knowing deep within her soul that this was where she belonged. She perfected the art of playing Mermaids and devoured information about the sea creatures she longed to spend her time with.

And then began the adventures!

Julia was always fearless and bold, ready to take on the world at any given moment, and as such has been on many exciting adventures. (Often convincing her sister, Sarah, a girl who has never ever been described as ‘bold’ or any of its synonyms, to go along with the latest scheme.)

Julia explored the wilds of British Columbia and took on the motto “If it’s already done you can’t get in trouble for it”. She built pools and forts, explored tunnels and played Pirates, swam to islands and made her way inland. She has both seen cougars and been a cougar. In short (both in stature and the idiom) she has always been pretty darn cool.

When she was young (younger than even she realizes!) she volunteered at Goldstream Park where her love of nature and the outdoors finally found an outlet. She spent hours and hours traipsing through the woods, instilling in herself a lifelong passion for dirt and all things natural.

(It was here too that she discovered a love of boys, though that’s a different story altogether.)

Fast forwarding through time and many a memorable experience, Julia spent her days loving life and exuding confidence and positivity, traits that carried her through her very own down under adventure of a lifetime, FANZ. It was here that she fell in love both with travel and more deeply with her own island, discovering a newfound appreciation for her home (the kind of appreciation one can only discover after leaving!).

During FANZ, Julia explored different oceans and brilliant forests, braved dark caves and frozen glaciers, rafted wild rivers and fell from the sky – intentionally! Julia threw herself into each experience, bubbling with excitement at every step.

After returning home, Julia discovered another passion, helping people. Julia began working at a local hospital as a Unit Clerk so she could help people without having to touch them and made a positive difference in their lives (something she has excelled at). Julia was and is loved by everyone she works with, earning the respect and admiration of everyone from fellow clerks to doctors.

In her thirty years on this earth Julia’s positive light and generous attitude has inspired many and earned her a permanent spot in every heart she has touched. She is the glue of her family, always being the one to get along with everyone, whether it is her parents or her brother, David, or sister, Sarah, the heart of her friendships, and always the life of the party.

Julia was, is, and always will be special.

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