Things are hopping at the Henrys

Posted on 03 November 2011

Little did Jerry Henry know what he was starting when he surprised his wife, Patsy, with the gift of a live, white pet rabbit in March 2003. They named it, appropriately, “Bunny Rabbit.”

What started out as one rabbit, soon became two. The Henrys were both so taken with Bunny Rabbit, whom they believed to be female, that when they saw baby rabbits being sold in the Kmart shopping center they chose a white rabbit with black on its nose and ears to be a playmate for Bunny Rabbit. They called it Jack.

At first the two got along famously, but soon the Henrys realized both were males and as they grew older they began to fight. They had to be separated in the pen.

Then along came Flopsey, a female, also white with black on her nose and ears like Jack. Flopsey grew up to give birth to a baby bunny named Paula Rabbit.

And thus began the creation of a series of children’s books called “My Hare Line,” which was written by Patsy, who has always been interested in creative writing.

The first book in the series came out in 2009 and not only tells how they obtained the rabbits, but expresses their joy in watching them run and play. It also revealed how the couple learned to care for and love their growing family of rabbits. And grow it did.

It also tells the sad tale of how dogs discovered and destroyed some of the rabbit cages, killing Flopsey and several others.

But, most are happy stories accompanied by appealing pictures of bunnies frolicking in the Henry’s yard, jumping on blocks and crawling through PVC drain pipes — in a bunny playground fashioned by Jerry.

Book two tells about Brown Rabbit, a wild hare who discovered the Henry’s backyard bunnies and wanted to fraternize with them.

Although Patsy’s career was in banking and working for Ivey Funeral Home for eight years, she has always had a desire to be a writer. She has taken composition courses at Bainbridge College, attends the River Writers meetings and finds she really enjoys writing — especially about her rabbits.

She has now published four books, with the last one released in October.

A special joy is sharing her books with children by reading at schools and libraries. Sometimes she takes a live bunny with her and finds the children are delighted with the warm fuzzy creatures.

Last year she appeared for reading sessions at 16 public libraries, some as far away as the Atlanta area. She and the bunnies have also appeared at festivals, such as Mule Days and Swine Time, and she can usually be seen in Willis Park on First Saturdays. She has done a book signing in Thomasville, as well as at Bainbridge sites.

While Patsy is busy promoting her books, she said she didn’t go into it to make money, but for the fun of it. She said she has probably given away more books than she has sold. However, she adds, “My dream would be to have one become a best-seller.”

The Henrys are now faced with a population explosion. At last count there were approximately 40 rabbits, although one can’t say for sure. It is difficult to count rabbits scurrying around the pens. And, the rabbits now come in a variety of colors from the pure white, white with black, all black, shades of gray, tans, browns and multi-colored.

They are willing to give away a few of the young rabbits for pets, but are careful that they go to homes where there is no immediate danger from dogs or cats.

Patsy admits they had a lot to learn about raising rabbits when they first began. Now, thanks to some help from Internet study, and through trial and error, they are making progress and able to separate the males from the females, and to learn their behavior patterns. Rabbits are great at digging in the ground, hollowing out holes to sit and keep cool, or creating a place for the females to have their young — and sometimes escaping from the pens.

When they are aggravated or feel threatened, they will stomp their feet.

A book signing was held in August at the Bainbridge Curves, where Patsy presented Leslie Ann Newberry with a copy of her latest book, The Hare Line and the Hat, which was dedicated to her. In the dedication, Henry calls Leslie Ann her biggest fan who, when she finishes one book, looks forward to the next.

Will there be a next? Patsy said she has written another, but hasn’t decided whether or not to publish it. Let’s just say to Hare Line fans, “There is a new one ‘in the hopper.’”

One Response to “Things are hopping at the Henrys”


Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] can also read more about Patsy and her rabbits in this article on Bainbridge Living, a magazine local to the […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.