OK, so I was in gym class, and we were playing kickball outside. Fun, right? Well, even if I enjoyed sports (does kickball even count as a sport?), it turned out to be a very disturbing experience. A sixth-grader was pitching, and when she looked down, she screamed: a decapitated rabbit had been buried vertically in the pitcher’s mound with its tail poking out. She had stepped on it.

Everyone immediately ran over to see what was going on. Most people said “Ew, grody” and left. I couldn’t stop staring at it, though. Some guy I don’t know claimed that the baseball team had cut off its head and left it like that for their rival team to discover, and just hearing that made me shake with rage.

I went to the outfield where nobody could see me, hoping I wouldn’t start screaming at them/crying/doing something else embarrassing. I couldn’t prove anything anyway.

It was the last period of the day before lunch, and I begged my gym teacher to let me properly bury the rabbit. She suggested that I go find the science teacher to help me do it safely, and I gladly did. The science teacher handed me a plastic bag and a shovel.

It was a beautiful day—about 75 degrees and breezy—and tons of people were eating outside. I went up to a group of kids I knew, announced what I was doing, and left. A few stood up and followed me. About seven of us gathered around and shared our feelings about the situation. Then I took the spade and began to unbury the poor bunny, picking it up with the bag, when we were interrupted by a “HEY!” My gym teacher was looking at us from afar. Everyone’s heads spun around, and she yelled something about not being allowed to do this. “But I thought you said we could!” The teacher shook her head and left. We assumed it didn’t matter.

With the rabbit in the bag, I led the group to the bush, cutting through the area where people were eating. I said something to a few of my friends about the lack of respect people had for animals. I was probably making a bigger deal about it than I needed to. I was just trying to draw the attention of seven caring people to something terrible. Unfortunately, one teacher who was outside didn’t see it that way.

She grabbed the bag from me and started yelling at us. I don’t even know what she was saying because I was so taken aback. We were all looking at one another, bewildered, until the principal heard her and had to come calm her down. He asked her what we did, and she told him that we had interrupted everybody’s lunch and waved a decapitated rabbit around with a knife, and added something about the lack of respect we had for our school. I think if we didn’t look so baffled, he might have believed her.

A few of my friends spoke up and said that it wasn’t true, and eventually a few spectators chimed in. The principal asked me to show him the knife, but it became clear that he was talking about my shovel. The gym teacher was called over, and she said that she hadn’t granted us permission to bury the rabbit. Had I misheard her before? By now most people were watching us being yelled at. A couple people in my crowd tried to slink away.

We didn’t get in any more trouble, because I think our principal knew that I wasn’t the kind of person who waved a knife around or killed rabbits. But they never let us bury the rabbit. We were humiliated, and the prank wasn’t even investigated. A sad little thing was turned into something huge because of a group of students wanted to make a rabbit’s death a little better. And along with the potential funeral went a little bit of my faith in humanity. ♦