NO LONGER WILL I TAKE THE BLAME

A certain person sent me a sick joke in an e-mail recently. It was about a little buck-toothed girl trying to buy a bunny from a pet store to feed to her python. When I objected to receiving such a disgusting forward, this so-called friend claimed in his rambling reply that I wasn’t doing anything to alert the public about snake owners feeding live rabbits to their pets. Instead of an apology, which any thoughtful individual would have given, I was indirectly criticized. I’ve decided that I will no longer take the blame when people falsely attribute it to me.

In my Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) memoir, I chronicled many instances when other people foisted the blame for their mistakes on me. Here is one egregious example from April of 1969 when I arrived in Vancouver from Edmonton after Easter vacation. I was only eleven years old, had no experience in travelling alone, and had poor sight, yet responsible adults acted as if I was the one who messed up.

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When I stepped down from the train, no one from Jericho met me. Not knowing what else to do, I stood on the platform for approximately a half hour. When my legs grew tired, I lugged my suitcases inside the station. “Maybe someone will come along and find me here,” I thought as I sat on a raised concrete platform with my luggage.

After an hour or two, a railway official spotted me. “What are you doing – just sitting there like that?” he demanded.

“I’m waiting for somebody from Jericho Hill School to pick me up.”

“Well, you can’t wait around here forever. Can’t you call a cab or something? I’ve got work to do. I’m not your dad, you know.”

“Couldn’t you call the school for me? I don’t have the number and I don’t have any money left. I can’t see well, you know,” I added. He sighed and walked into an office to find the school’s number in the telephone directory.

Some time later, a man from the Administration Office arrived and drove me to the dorm. “You caused us a lot of problems you know,” he grumped. “We expected you to come tomorrow. Now my schedule is all messed up because of you.” My face fell even lower as I realized he blamed me for his inconvenience and the bureaucratic bungling which caused it.

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Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like for me and my schoolmates in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. This 196-page paperback, containing 6 black and white photos, sells for $20.00 through the PayPal-equipped  http://www.inscribe.org/BruceAtchison website. My When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) book is also available on the site and sells for $10.00.

IS THERE A STUPIDITY CONTEST ON?

Each spring, hundreds of thousands of parents buy their children a baby bunny for Easter. Within a few months, the novelty wears off and most of these innocent rabbits end up in animal shelters. Others are heartlessly tossed out to fend for themselves in parks or wilderness areas. Parents, who end up caring for their kids’ bunnies, have no clue about the anguish they cause these domesticated creatures. Most dumped rabbits die of diseases or predation. Those who manage to survive the hard winter breed explosively until land owners have to call in an exterminator. Tragically, a large number of bunnies die from mistreatment or neglect. Far too many acquaintances have callously told me, “We had a bunny once but it died.” If they’re that blase about the death of a pet, I shudder to think what sort of friend they would be to a person like me.

In this age of the internet, there is absolutely no excuse for not knowing about rabbit care. Websites abound with practical information. Media outlets run stories each Easter about the inadvisability of buying a bunny for children. Book stores stock all sorts of “how to” manuals. Unfortunately, people figure they know how to care for a rabbit, probably based on watching Bugs Bunny cartoons and hearsay. How absolutely stupid! Rabbits are prey animals with fragile bones. Children play too roughly with them. Bunnies can even break their own backs if they are picked up incorrectly. These animals need space to run and play too. Keeping them in tiny cages, as I once did, is cruel and reprehensible. From living with house rabbits, I’ve learned that they love company but on their own terms. If people must get a pet for their kids, get a dog.

No matter what the prize is for being the world’s stupidest person, it’s not worth the price paid by innocent bunnies sold by unscrupulous breeders. Visit www.rabbit.org first before considering having bunnies as pets. Be prepared to have the animal neutered or spayed. Learn how to litter train them and how to rabbit-proof their living space. Rabbits live for as long as 10 years, not the short time that popular opinion says. They experience the same emotions as other pets and they need just as much care. For more information about my When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) memoir, please visit my www.inscribe.org/BruceAtchison page. Don’t make the same stupid mistakes I did for years but learn from my experiences.

What is my purpose for this page?

Welcome to my new blog. The reason I set this one up is to present excerpts from my two memoirs, When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) and Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School). When my third and final memoir, How I Was Razed, is published, I’ll post excerpts from it as well. I hope to give you not only interesting posts to read but an understanding of the valuable and practical lessons contained in my books.

When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) chronicles eight years of my life with house rabbits. Far from being dull and witless fur balls, these creatures are astonishingly intelligent, have mischievous personalities, and are affectionate, defying every stereotype. The main character, a Himalayan named Gideon, was the first real house rabbit I had. The bunnies I previously owned were little more than furry amusements which I kept in cramped cages. Gideon taught me many things about his species as well as confirming the amazing claims made by my friends on the alt.pets.rabbits newsgroup and the PetBunny e-mail list. For additional information on house rabbit care, visit the http://www.rabbit.org House Rabbit Society site.

Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) tells the story of the years I spent at that government-run institution in Vancouver, British Columbia during the sixties. Having previously attended local public school for two years, being sent five hundred miles from home for months at a stretch was a terrible shock. Even so, I made the best of it. Though this memoir contains some heart-breaking recollections, I also related incidents of mischief that my schoolmates and I caused as well as describing the activities of our daily lives. Thankfully, today’s disabled children are integrated into the public system instead of being automatically exiled to distant institutions.

How I Was Razed is an account of my involvement in a cult church for more than fifteen years, my rejection of God for almost a decade because he didn’t heal my eyes, and how I eventually discovered the liberating truth about genuine Christianity. More than just a story of a naive convert being mislead, my book lists many excellent apologetics resources. These include radio programs, online ministries, and books by astute authors. If all goes well and I find a reliable publisher, this memoir should be in print by the end of the year or early the next.

For more information about me and my writing, please visit my http://www.inscribe.org/BruceAtchison Inscribe Writers Group page. I had it designed so that anybody could navigate it. Another benefit is that there are no ads or Flash animations cluttering it up.