This occurred over thirty years ago. Just trying to keep all things on a timeline these days and not try to confuse anyone more than necessary.
I spent most of my adult life in the navy, serving on submarines. When I entered the service I was already heavily into close-up magic. I carried six silver dollars and a deck of cards everywhere I went, from Australia to the North Pole. The audience at the North Pole was cold, cold.
Before my pals and I were to leave on a deployment to the Mediterranean one of my pals, a Torpedoman by trade had adopted a rabbit. He was single and had no one to take it or look after it. As we discussed fluffy’s impending fate someone said, “Hey Kent oughta pull Fluffy out of the COs hat on half-way night.”
You can see where this is going. Fluffy spent two-and-a-half months, in her cage in the torpedo room bilge. Bags of rabbit food were carefully hidden from the Chief’s inspection eyes. Her wastes were carefully collected and passed off as common waste and taken to the TDU room. (Trash Disposal Unit . . . 700 pound air and a ram . . . nevermind)
Half-way night on long deployments is always celebrated. If you have any talent or think you do, you’re in the half-way night show. Ala Tarbell Fluffy was in a bunny-sack behind a chair. After producing a silk fountain I got her into the pile of silks and produced her pretty damned cleanly, if I do say so myself.
The trick got a good reaction, solid applause. Then it dawned on them that we hadn’t seen land for thirty-seven days and there was a goddamn live bunny-rabbit on the ship. The crew went wild.
It was worth going that extra mile. Fluffy, by the way was in violation of several navy regulations. In a macabre series of events she ended up on the menu a couple of days later. Submariners have no sense of justice.