KENNEWICK, Wash. — It figures. One night out on the town and it's splashed across the pages of the Tri-City Herald.
No matter that the early morning photo wasn't on the front page, I heard about it before my coffee cooled.
"We have a wild rabbit," the email from Glenda explained, "and we were surprised to see our Pepper in today's paper."
'Wild' may be putting it mildly.
Not only was Pepper out cavorting all night -- caught on camera in the wee hours of the morning -- she also was believed to have been accompanied at some point by Nemo, a natural-born lover. In the moonlight, the male white and black-furred bunny had escaped from his fenced grassy area at a local group home.
His daytime job is pet therapy at Legacy Adult Family Homes Tranquility Manors. But at times, life for a rabbit may be too tranquil. Between residents stroking his fur and then hanging out in an enclosed shady backyard, the summertime living is easy.
Just out of reach -- and I saw this first-hand -- sits coy little Pepper. She stops by on a whim to tease and tantalize Nemo between bites of bunny food and cool sips of water graciously set out by the staff. Although this female hare has been caught a few times, she prefers to be loose.
That flirtation took on a more romantic note the night French-named Nemo -- who sports a dark moustache -- burrowed out from underneath the wire. He was on the lam for hours.
"We retrieved our Nemo, but it was a bit too late," lamented Legacy staff member Glenda. "And now we are SURE there will be strange looking babies," referring to Pepper's midnight dalliance.
Sounds as if that may be the price for a little spice.