My son came home from second grade with a baby rabbit. It had shown up in his teacher’s yard, and she had brought it to school and installed it in an aquarium. Through the glass it watched the students watch the clock and pencil numbers onto worksheets. But after a couple of weeks, the teacher began to feel uneasy about this baby bunny. She was sure there was something wrong with it. It was bringing bad juju into her classroom, making it nearly impossible for her to teach, retarding her students’ thinking. She consulted with some other teachers, and they concluded that this bunny was clinically depressed. So my son’s teacher gave it to him to take home, because she knew that I had worked as a clinical psychologist. Perhaps she thought I could treat the rabbit, and I did.
I carefully sliced some shards off one of my Zoloft pills, and gave them to the rabbit. Within a week, his mood had brightened considerably. I wasn’t working anymore (my clinical license had been revoked, for reasons that are irrelevant here) so I had plenty of time to hang out with the rabbit in the yard.
As he grew into adolescence, I realized that the rabbit and I had a lot in common, despite the fact that I was Jewish and the rabbit’s background had been Episcopalian. Like myself, he was no longer a believer. I began taking him out of the cage and holding him on my lap, stroking his furry ears. Together on my deluxe garden chair, we had many deep and thoroughly enjoyable inter-species discussions.
He thanked me for curing him with Zoloft. I said: You’re welcome. You’re now my only client.
He said: Well, you’re doing a good job.
We sat in silence for a while, watching the fruit of the sapodilla tree fall and squish on the patio. Later I let the rabbit down and he snacked on them. He offered to share, even though he knew that the fruit of the sapodilla was too bitter for my taste, though I liked its smell.