The painkiller is beginning to take hold. Praise God!
PROVINCETOWN — It’s just like the movie “Born Free,” but rather than a lion returning to the wilds of Africa, Provincetown’s version of animal liberation revolves around a cute little black rabbit.
A domesticated flop-eared rabbit has made a home in a far northwest corner in the town’s cemetery near Alden Street where alfalfa grows in abundance. Buildings and grounds employees who maintain the cemetery say that the bunny first began to appear in 2000, when they theorize a storm blew over a hutch allowing the little fellow to escape. Miraculously, the rabbit has survived harsh winters and coyotes and has been embraced by the wild cottontail population.
The “Black Bunny” has quickly become somewhat of a legend in Provincetown, in a community that loves tall tales and offbeat heroic figures. Not since Ohio the Cat was catnapped in 2005 has the town rallied around an animal, anointing it as a local folk hero.
And now the Black Bunny’s image is the latest in fashion. Liz Claricoates is launching a line of T-shirts with its image this Memorial Day weekend to pay homage to a critter that she says embodies what it means to be from Provincetown.
“It’s very much like the people that move to Provincetown to reinvent themselves,” said Claricoates, who lives with her partner Vanessa Downing on Alden Street close to the cemetery. “Here’s this rabbit that somehow escaped captivity to live wild and free. It’s a very Provincetown story. This rabbit really represents the spirit of the town.”
Townspeople now check on the bunny, which only makes sporadic appearances, sometimes disappearing for months. Some town workers have seen the rabbit lying on its back sunning itself. Others have seen it cozied up to old crooked tombstones of long gone town residents. It has become apparent by how the wild cottontails interact with the black bunny that while different and twice their size, they have accepted it as one of their own, said Claricoates. Not only has the rabbit been accepted, but apparently has a paramour as last spring the black bunny was reportedly seen surrounded by a litter of bunnies, black in color.
“You know, you project this story on the rabbit,” said Claricoates. “It might sound silly, but it’s become a spiritual thing for a lot of people. They make a pilgrimage to see the bunny. It’s a reminder of why we live here.”
Black Bunny T-shirts will be sold at City Video, 192 Commercial St., Provincetown, beginning this weekend.
And so it goes.