The decision to allow some of our pets into my working studio space has always had its ups and downs. You may remember my “bad bunny” essays from my old blog such as Devil Bunny, where I share how Bunster and Bubble have “tasted” everything in my studio from my new rubber floor mats to my new MD Propanels. (Debbie at MD Propanels kindly sent me a replacement patch for the carpet section Bunster had chewed with a cartoon bunny drawing and a caption that said “Yummm!”)

In hindsight, I would have read up more on rabbits and done more preventative maintenance. I would have raised ALL my extension cords (including my power cable to my computer, sewing machine and telephone.) I would have invested in metal gym locker baskets and old metal tool boxes and containers sooner. (Bunnies can chew through wood but not metal….yet!)

But even so, I would not change anything for the enjoyment I’ve gotten out of them.

Yesterday I set up the refreshment table for my open studio. I’m keeping it oh-so-simple this year. I’ve learned that most people are serious about looking around and shopping, and that my family ends up eating most of the leftover food. I have hot mulled cider, those highly-addictive honey wheat pretzel sticks and gingersnaps.

After I set out the gingersnaps, I folded up the plastic liner bag with the remaining cookies, closed the box top, stuck it in a grocery bag with the second box, and tucked them under a drawer next to my desk. I ran into the house to get ready.

When I came out, I could see Bunster’s tail sticking out from under my desk. It’s twitching happily. And a suspicious munching sound…. What the heck was she eating??

She had a) pulled the entire grocery bag under the desk; b) pulled out the open box of cookies; c) opened it; d) pulled out the folded liner bag (“to preserve freshness!”) and e) opened it; f) removed one cookie and was g) contentedly munching it under my desk.

Now, I’ve read on many occasions that animals like rats, birds, rabbits, while not quite as “smart” (as WE judge “smart”) as cats and dogs and dolphins, DO have the emotional intelligence of a 2-year-old or 3-year-old child.

And I remember when I was three, I became obsessed with brown sugar. I craved it. I would beg my mother for it. Hmmmm….does that explain my maple syrup jones?

One day, I figured out how to get up on the kitchen counter and snag the whole box of brown sugar. I hunkered down under the dining room table (which had two fold-down “leaves” that I thought hid me completely from view.)

These were the days before “resealable inner bags”, so brown sugar used to get pretty stale and hard if you didn’t use it up fast. I had a spoon and was diligently scrapping rock hard brown sugar, eating literally a few grains of sweetness at a time.

Scritch, scritch, scritch!

I remember squatting under that table, digging into that box of brown sugar with a spoon, and looking through the table legs at my mother’s feet. I remember her saying, “Come out of there RIGHT NOW!! What are you eating?!”

And I clearly remember thinking, “I can’t see her, so she can’t see ME!”

And also thinking, “I don’t care if I get in trouble, this brown sugar is GOOD!”

So today, I thank Mark Rosenbaum for all those yummy pralines he brings us at the Buyers Market of American Craft show in Philly all these years.

I thank Bunster for all the life lessons she’s taught or illustrated for me along the way (see Stormy Weather) and think of my friend Lee, whom I have not seen in many months and who I hear is not doing well.

And I thank Bunster for the laugh, and the walk down memory lane.