HARDANGERVIDDA, Norway: Edward once overheard a woman announce, "it'll all be OK once the bunny king comes."
The nonsensical phrase was close to his heart decades before we met. Then it tumble-dried with my own harebrained humor and the legend of Bun.
Bun's my velveteen rabbit. Not that I like rabbits much I consider them pathetic, quivering creatures: fur sacks for organs. But for Easter 1978, an uncle sent me a plush one, which arrived eviscerated by some War-on-Drugs goon.
Oh, the humanity!
Age three, I had a lot of time for a stuffed animal with a cool autopsy scar. A few years later, my mother melted Bun's eyes in the dryer and reattached them upside down. He looked sly and saintly and better for it.
Most of his nose pompoms unraveled and all his mouth embroidery. Ear wires knotted into sharp lumps. His fur frayed to webbing in many places. Every trip east, I'd awaken to my grandmother shrieking, "my God, do you still have that mangy thing?"
We'd created a monster, all right. One bad@ss Bunny King.
Bun recently flew to Europe for a photoshoot with Lisa Payne. I hate those futile face-saving efforts at security: "Um, I don't usually carry my ted on holiday, really, it's just..."
Anyway, at the Hardangervidda Nature Center, I spot the motherload of rabbit kitsch: a whole Bunny King exhibit. An Arctic Hare bristles above some Tinker-toy-sized reindeer. Edward and I can't stop laughing, much to the manager's consternation.
"Old joke," I try to explain. The language barrier doesn't help, nor the fact that my humor doesn't play to Scandinavian crowds well.
And then, simply giving up: "please don't worry, sir. We'll be OK when the Bunny King comes."