Our Friend Bunny… Christine McDonald

CeeCee and I were the same age. From time to time, we looked out for each other on the corner of Gladstone Boulevard and Independence Avenue. We would often hang together in between dates, neither of us having a place to call home or a place to go inside, away from the elements. Once, we were arrested in a sting and transported together to the police station.

CeeCee had been in California for years working the streets of L.A., but she bounced back and forth to Kansas City, as that is where her family lived. She hoped that one day her family could look beyond the shame they felt for her prostitution. She longed for reconciliation with them.

At one point, CeeCee and I were in prison together, so we put our names on the list to be cellmates. Soon we were sharing a cell in an old prison that had crank windows we were allowed to open. And there was grass we were allowed to walk on. It was great.

Most other prisons wouldn’t allow you to open windows or walk on the grass. In fact, it was a conduct violation to walk on the grass, and the windows—well, they didn’t open.

One day, when the grass was being cut, the yard crew discovered some baby bunnies. The bunnies were a ray of hope to so many women in prison, many with families or hopes for families, many who had children who had been taken from them, many with families that had, like CeeCee’s, disconnected from them due to their incarceration and the shame it brought on the family. The bunnies somehow filled in the wells of hurt and loneliness. They gave us the connection of something to love and to care for.

CeeCee and I chose to adopt one. We had other girls who worked in the chow hall steal food for us. We cleaned out a metal footlocker and lined it with an old towel and grass we’d picked. At night when we were on lockdown, we would take out our bunny (which we had named simply “Bunny”) and hold it. During the day, we would go out to what we called Blubber Beach. It was where we girls could touch the grass and lie and bake in the sun—still in our prison–gray uniforms, but nevertheless enjoying the grass and the warmth of the sun. When we were there, we would take Bunny out. We stashed him between our breasts to get him out of the housing units. We would lie in the grass and watch Bunny enjoy it with us.

Soon, however, Bunny got bigger and needed to get out of the little locker we had made his home. At first, we had put a rolled–up towel across the floor at the door of the cell to insure that Bunny didn’t make it underneath. But as Bunny got bigger, it grew harder to keep him a secret.

CeeCee and I took turns. We worked different shifts in the prison, so it was easy for us to keep our soft, furry friend to ourselves. But Bunny grew, as all babies do, and we could no longer hide him in our bras to go outdoors. As time went on, we were leaving Bunny out to explore our prison cell more frequently. So the word got out that we had a pet baby rabbit in the state penitentiary, one we had kept and had taken care of for a couple of months. One of the girls told a white shirt, and our housing unit was put on lockdown. The white shirt came to our cell after the unit was locked down…

To be continued…

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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