I was cleaning the farmyard yesterday morning when something really cute happened. I was raking Nimbus‘s yard (our farmyard rabbit), and a woman and her two little boys (maybe 2 or 3 years old) came over to visit the rabbit. I heard the mother refer to Nimbus as “Ollie” when she was talking to the boys. Smiling, I asked her, “Is that what you named the bunny?” The mother preceded to tell me that the boys’ favorite cartoon has a grey bunny in it named Ollie. The boys think that the bunny we have at the museum is the same bunny, so they like to visit Ollie! The mother told me that seeing Ollie is the highlight of their visit because the boys love her so much. She said, “Whenever I say ‘we’re going to the museum’, they get really excited and talk about seeing Ollie.”
This whole story really warmed my heart, as I stood there and watched these two sweet kids staring at Nimbus. I asked the mother if they would like to pet Ollie. The little boys were shy and didn’t say anything, but the mom was thrilled and said they would love that. So I scooped up Nimbus and took her outside. There just happened to be another mother and her two girls there at the same time, so they got to pet Nimbus, too. All of the children were very quiet, but I could tell that they were really thrilled. When I went to put Nimbus back, the mother told the two little boys to say goodbye to Ollie. Both of the boys blew her a kiss. No doubt, I thought these kids were adorable!
Moments like this are one of the joys of the job, when you can watch the wonder in a child’s eyes as they experience something new. It was such a simple thing to do, but seemed to make a huge difference to the mother and her kids. The keepers named the bunny “Nimbus” because she is grey like stormy nimbus clouds. But “Ollie” is a perfectly nice name, especially if it holds a special meaning like it did for those two little boys!