While Bunny the donkey drinks water every day, it's not her favorite beverage.
She prefers the refreshing taste of Coca-Cola.
When young people visit the home of Leo and Eleanor Haar, Leo Haar lets Bunny drink Coke for the kids’ enjoyment. The donkey drinks the soft drink out of a red cup.
Don't surprise Bunny, though, by putting something else in the cup. “She'll spit it in your face,” Haar said.
Bunny, whose foods of choice are corn and hay, is one smart donkey.
Every morning, Haar feeds his chickens first. Bunny doesn't like to wait.
“She’ll holler at me and I'll holler at her, ‘Just a minute. I'll be right down.’ ” That satisfies Bunny until he gets there.
Bunny will turn 30 in August. She has spent most of her life at the Haars’ farm, which is 4 miles north of Holgate Middle School.
She and Haar used to dance. “My wife always said she did a better job than I did,” Haar said.
But Bunny doesn’t dance much anymore. “She's too old and stiff. And I am too old and stiff,” said Haar, 87.
Bunny can still bow her head, shake hands and give Haar a kiss. He said she's “the only thing that'll kiss me anymore."
Haar said Bunny loves people. She is gentle and friendly like a dog, he says.
Bunny will let the Haars’ great-granddaughters get on her back and carry them around. In the old days, Bunny would kneel down, let Haar get on her back and carry him to the house.
The Haars’ life with Bunny began when the John Kippley family, who live north of the Haars, bought Bunny's mother at the Grand Canyon.
When that donkey gave birth, Eleanor Haar said the baby donkey looked like “a little bunny rabbit.” That's where Bunny's name came from.
In October 1983, Kippley brought Bunny to the Haars because he wanted to wean the mother. After two years, Leo Haar took Bunny back to Kippley because he was getting attached to the donkey. But Kippley’s three daughters called Leo Haar, crying, insisting that he take Bunny back. They knew he belonged with Leo Haar. Adoption papers were even drawn up.
The Haars are known for keeping animals. They used to have a petting zoo on their farm that students would visit each spring. For a long time, Leo Haar also showed animals at the Brown County Fair.
Leo Haar keeps animals around because “he enjoys them very much,” his wife said.
Bunny has a strip of dark hair on her back and shoulders that’s in the form of a cross. The Bible says that Jesus rode a similar donkey into Jerusalem.
Bunny has appeared at several area churches on Palm Sunday. The Haars have also let some of their animals, including Bunny, be used in manger scenes.
As you'd expect, Leo Haar knows a lot about animals.
Over the years, he owned many sheep. “I sheared sheep for 66 years."
Although he doesn't use Bunny for this purpose, he says donkeys are good for keeping coyotes away. "They'll chase them and run ’em down."
Bunny is the only donkey Leo Haar has owned.
He did own a mule for a while. “Well, one was enough,” he said.