Hare-raising tale has a happy ending

Community furor over missing sculpture just a misunderstanding

When one of the sculptures in David Hunwick’s Rite of Spring mysteriously went missing last week

When one of the sculptures in David Hunwick’s Rite of Spring mysteriously went missing last week

Like any good story involving a child and a rabbit, this hare-raising tale comes with a happy ending.

Local social media exploded last week with news that one of the hares from David Hunwick’s Rite of Spring sculpture, one of 13 art pieces mounted around the district for this year’s ArtsAlive program, was missing.

A local business owner also reported the “theft” to Oak Bay police.

The mystery of the missing hare was solved Sunday during the Bowker Creek Brush Up when Coun. Hazel Braithwaite chatted with the artist.

Turns out, Hunwick removed the piece of the sculpture for a minor repair. The hare was only gone for about a day, but long enough to create the local uproar.

“I had no idea about the response,” he said Sunday at the event.

A five-year-old boy was admiring the sculpture when a paw accidentally broke, Hunwick said.

“The mother called me to say how devastated she and her son were.”

They brought the artist the broken paw in a little box, wrapped in tissue, and he popped down to the sculpture, installed on Cadboro Bay Road near Pure Vanilla, and removed the hare for repair.

“I was so impressed he had the courage to come forward, it was amazing,” Hunwick said.

“We shook hands and I asked if he could think of a name for the hare.”

While Hunwick was still waiting at press time to learn the name the boy chose for the repaired hare, six others frolicking around the sculpture also need names, and the artist invites the community to email suggestions to info@thesculpturestudio.net.

Despite the misunderstanding, the community’s response to the incident was heartening.

“It restores faith in the community,” Hunwick said. “The upside of this is I have a whole community watch.”