5 Aug 2009. "I need something with a bunny on it!" Ahh, I left satisfied. SDSU's logo wasn't bad before (a ripoff of Bugs Bunny) but it wasn't great either. The running rabbit is one of the best upgrades around. Royal blue and gold dust. Great nickname, great colors, great design. A credit to the Lagomorph order.
It was raining cats and dogs. And rabbits.
"You don't have keys to your own office?!"
"They're locked in my car! You're the janitor! You should have a skeleton key or something."
"'Skeleton Key'? I'm not a witch doctor. If you mean master key, then no I don't have it. I was already on my way out when you flagged me down. It's back in the admin building."
The janitor splashed away in his golf cart. South Dakota State University President Brookings huddled under the SDSU Campanile, getting soaked.
A lightning bolt flashed nearby, followed immediately by a tremendous crack of thunder. A gust of wind blew through a tree towards the bell tower, sending streams of water onto Brookings' front. He handled his tie, inspecting it.
That can't be good for the silk.
Seconds earlier and a hundred feet above, a hawk was caught in the storm, trying to get home for dinner. Dinner tonight was a young hare in its clutches. Even with hawk's eyes, it was difficult to navigate.
Luckily, there was a flash of light to help.
Unluckily, it consisted of lightning.
With a BURST and a BOOM, the hawk, now roasted, dropped to earth. The petrified hare fell through some branches and bounced against a cold, hard surface. This knocked it unconscious as it continued to descend. Down the bricks of the Campanile. Between the mounted aluminum SDSU lettering.
And into the hands of a man in a long black wool overcoat and a ruined tie.
Brookings heard a faint clang from the Campanile. He looked up. His palms were still open. And now they were filled with wet rabbit.
It was just a bunny, no bigger than a silicone breast implant, and about as lifeless and unnerving to hold.
The janitor returned and opened up the doors to the president's office. They both walked in and dried off.
"Whatcha doing with that muddy little thing?"
"It just fell from the sky!"
"A flying rabbit??"
"I don't know. Do rabbits nest in trees now?"
"No, they don't. You know a sky-rabbit is a sign of the end times. It's in Revelations."
"I'll drive you to your car. Found your spare keys?"
Brookings dug through his desk drawers. "Actually...no. I don't know where...I can't find them! I'll have to call my wife. She can bring our other spares, then drive me to my car."
He thanked the janitor and sent him home.
Brookings called his wife, who appeared fifteen minutes later. Running in from the rain, she found him making a bunny-burrito. His tie was the tortilla and his desk lamp was the incubator.
"Hi, Suzette. You happen to have a hare dryer?"
"What?" She walked over to his bundle.
"Oh, hare dryer. Ha ha. How long were you waiting to say that?"
"Fifteen minutes. You dealt with rabbits before?"
"Yes, and hares, too. Which this little guy is, a leveret to be specific."
"I was trying to warm it up. It fell from the bell tower."
"From the bell tower? At least he's still breathing. It's difficult to look for broken bones on such a small specimen. Gut feeling right now is, he won't make it. The desk lamp was a good idea, but here, put your tie away. Do you have any cotton towels?"
"You can check the kitchenette." Brookings pointed down the hall. Suzette returned with a white dish towel and a bowl of soapy water.
"I didn't know you had a veterinary case or I'd have brought some supplies."
"What are you doing?"
"If I can't treat the injuries, at least I can clean him up some. He's filthy. Oh! He's opened his eyes!"
"Really? Wow! Suzette, you're amazing."
"I do this all the time. No big deal." The bunny wanted to move but could not stand. It tried to drag itself away with its front paws. It didn't get very far.
"Whoa, now, boy. Don't go throwing yourself off the table." Suzette found an empty Splenda box in the kitchenette. She placed the towel and the bunny inside.
"He's not returning to the wild anytime soon, or else he'd be eaten in ten minutes. We're keeping him."
"How about right over there?" said Brookings, pointing to a corner in his office.
"What, here in your office? Are you sure? It might get smelly."
"I can keep the windows open, or move him to the kitchenette or the patio if it gets bad." Suzette turned to the hare.
"You hear that? You have a new home..." She turned to Brookings.
"Ah, well, if you're keeping him, you get to name him."
"Hmm, okay. How about - "
A fierce BOOM shook the entire Campanile and office. An ugly-sounding RIP and CRACK sounded above. The lights went out. Water seeped through the ceiling. A spat of bricks fell and broke into pieces on the sidewalk below. Brookings and Suzette walked to the window, watching the falling debris.
"Did we just get hit by lightning??"
"Suzette, look!" Brookings pointed at the soggy lawn. The aluminum letters had been blasted off the side of the Campanile. The SDSU now lay scrambled as
S U D S
Brookings and Suzette both turned back to the infirm rabbit. He was still covered in soap bubbles, gnawing a flap of cardboard.
Brookings said, "I was thinking 'The Electrodent' but 'Suds' works too."
Suds The Rabbit, who grew domesticated but healthy, became the symbol of South Dakota State athletics. His finest moment, aside from surviving a hundred-foot drop, was during the annual Homecoming Week, when he headlined the parade. He wore a tiny toga, which he gnawed on, and was drawn in a mini chariot by a remote control car decorated with lightning bolts.
After Suds passed away, he was replaced by 'Jack', a student in a rabbit suit and a blue beret.
These are attempts to photograph the Campanile bell tower while driving. Do not try mobile photography at home.