Monday, April 20, 2015

A Time of Goodbyes


When I arrived home from church yesterday, my husband turned off the vacuum and said, "I have something to tell you."
Good news rarely comes from a statement like that, unless perhaps the shockingly good news of a lottery win.
"Rose is dead."
Rosie is the last of our three rabbits and unlike the other two, she appeared in good health and fine spirits. Lonely, perhaps, since her sisters died in 2011 and 2013. She seemed to like to watch the chickens wandering around outside her space in the chicken coop. For that last two winters, she's had more of a "condo" space than a pen and if she'd wanted to, she could have hopped up onto bales of hay or around the whole outer coop area. Are rabbits nocturnal? Maybe she did a lot of exploring at night when we weren't around.
It was a bit of a shock to hear she had just died. Unlike Beulah the chicken or Stella the dog, we had no indication Rosie wasn't feeling well. I didn't even have a chance to say good bye. I tossed some kale to her Saturday evening when I went out to collect the eggs, said, "Hey, Rosie-Ro," the way I always do as she munched down on her favourite food.
She didn't even look dead when Dwayne brought her out of the pen yesterday afternoon to bury her. The only difference from the photo above was that in death, her ears were laid back.
"Are you sure she's dead?" I asked.
 Rosie was a nice bunny for one not treated as a pet. Dwayne says that when he put his hand in his pocket, where he'd put a carrot or some stalks of kale, she'd lift up on her hind legs and sniff the air. Her looks reminded me of Thumper from the movie, Bambi. She didn't have a lot of freedom but she was safe and she loved her "cottage", the outside hutch where she spent the spring, summer and fall. She, too, has missed another spring, didn't get one last summer.
So now Rosie, who joined our flock when we got chickens in 2008, is gone and we are now rabbit-less. She has joined her sisters buried in the ground at the top of the field under slabs of shale.
I think this is enough death for awhile.

Peppa, Daisy and Rosie in the "cottage".

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