I was at the Tractor Supply opening up cases of suet. It's on sale 12 for $10, so it's been flying out the door like crazy. Can barely keep up with it. In any case, I'm working away. A woman comes up and asks me about a rabbit cage. Is it the only one we have? I see that the metal slide out tray has been banged in and bent. It turns out that it is the only one we have, but I tell them that the manager said that they could have it for $25. and point out that the metal tray is made of tin and could be straightened out easily with some pliers.
About then, their daughter, maybe 9 years old, begins to take a fit. She's crying because she does not want that small cage for her bunny. Her parents try to debate it, but she's adamant. She wants a bigger cage. Mentally, I'm rooting for the kid. Until I hear that this bunny is a bunny who lives in the lap of luxury. He is house broken and has the run of the house. He only goes in a cage when no one is home, for his own safety, rabbits being real chewers. Additionally, he has a second larger cage. This one is merely the one that will be in the little girl's room, the cage that he will use at night to sleep in. This cage is probably 2' by 3'.
So I look at this little girl, so emotionally overwrought, and I tell her that she has a very good heart, and that I love to see someone who takes good care of her animals. But I also point out that in the wild, rabbits go into very enclosed burrows to sleep, that it makes them feel secure and safe from predators, that this is their nature. The little girl takes this in very seriously. I tell her, "You know, you can test that yourself. Put a box in his cage and watch. And I will bet you that when he is put in his cage, he chooses to go into it, into an even smaller space to sleep. It is a protective instinct that many small animals have." I then told them to think it over, and I'd go back to my suet, and to just stop by and let me know if they didn't want the cage so that I could put it back up on the shelf.
Before too long, the three of them came by carrying the cage. They had decided to take it after all, and I carried it up to the register for them while they finished shopping. I was on the register when they came up with the rest of their purchases, and the little girl looked much happier. "Do you want a box for our experiment?" I asked, and with an excited smile she said yes. So I grabbed one from the stock room, and when I gave it to her, I said, "You come back and let me know how this experiment works out for you, okay?" and the little scientist went out the door with her box.
I miss having kids.