Little bunny, you picked a beautiful morning. *
The second day of spring, a sky so clear it could be mistaken for glass, the view of the hills a water-colour painting behind the houses. If some day, hopefully a long day away yet, I get to choose the day I go, I’d pick a day like this one.
There is so much we’ll never understand about the way animals think and feel. Many reading this will accuse me of anthropomorphism. Maybe they’re right, maybe my hopes are spilling into my words like ink across a page, but I believe in my heart these things to be true. I believe you knew, and I believe you held on for the right moment, even as the Universe was calling you.
After dark and painful days seeing that glorious sunlight beyond the window must have seemed perfect. I felt it too as I woke that morning, though I’m not sure you slept. Perhaps you were up, watching the hazy clouds disperse to reveal the sunrise, illuminating each new bud from the trees and each daisy scattered on the lush grasses. Birds, flapping care-free from the branches, must have given you ideas. It was your turn now, to fly. Ready as you were, though, you held on, just long enough and for that I will always be grateful.
Animals love. I know this deep inside. If not all animals can love, some do, and you were one of them, and you loved those little boys enough to hang in there. You knew they would come to your cage that morning, as every morning, to cuddle you and speak to you. You were their friend and confidant after all. Your long, fluffy ears probably heard more whispered secrets in your short time here, than my will ever hear. They trusted your loyalty more than is possible to ever trust a human’s. You wouldn’t betray their thoughts nor judge their words.
You listened and you allowed their hands into your space to caress your fur not always carefully, but always with joy, because you loved them.
They loved you too. For your silence. For the comfort your presence provided. For that quiet corner of the house, which for a moment, was just theirs and yours. Never more and never less than what they needed.
I loved you too. For our quiet talks when we were the only ones home, for gently taking vegetables from my hand, and giving ‘bunny’ kisses to all of us. For being a strange little creature with laughable habits. For dashing across the living room floor in flips and bounds, and hiding from me when you knew it was time to go back to your hutch. For sometimes coming over as I sat reading, to crawl onto my lap for cuddles when you trusted I wouldn’t catch you…. Even though you sometimes tried to eat my book.
And I’m going to miss your little nose poking at me as I come in in the morning, and hopping like mad at the first sign of food. I’m going to miss watching your explore every crevice in the house when you were let loose. Already, it’s not the same.
I’m sorry they don’t know yet**; but you understand how their hearts will break when they learn the truth. I know you understand that, because you love them, and that’s why you held on just long enough.
Long enough for them to say goodbye. Even if they didn’t know it was the final time. ^
I wish the Universe had allowed you longer; spring is the time of rabbets after all. We had plans to let you outside to eat the dandelions, and kick mud up as you hopped around, and feel the sun on your back. You deserved more.
I hope it didn’t hurt^*. Did you feel as we closed your mortal eyes and covered you over to rest? Probably not. That wasn’t all you anymore.
I hope you enjoyed those last cuddles as we hurried out the door; I hope you felt all the love those little boys feel for you, and will feel for you always, right down to your sweet core into your soul, filling you to brimming with the strength to go beyond.
The Universe is kind to kind beings, always, so I know you were not alone. Cosmic arms reached into your little home as you lay, and delicately pulled the final breath from your lungs so you were free to leap into unseen arms. I’m sure you didn’t though. I’m sure you bound joyously from your mortal shell, dashing off into the green wilds ethereal knowing no one would seek to contain you again, enjoying warmth and light, the kind you shone on this family by your gentleness.
I’m sure you ate fresh grass on open hills all day, and settled to catch the amethyst dusk set on the little street, where little boys were preparing for bed, missing you before they even knew you were gone.
As I stepped out into the evening chill, the moon almost full above, I swear I watched you bound across the stars*^.
*This actually took place on the 21st March 2016, a Monday. As is customary the weekend had been cold and dreadful.
**At the time of writing this, the boys were on their last week of school before the Easter holidays, and one of them had a school performance the same evening, which contained characters who were rabbits. It was decided to spare them stress during their final week and to let them enjoy Easter (another rabbit filled day). They were told the rabbit in question was at the vet (we left out the bit where he was being cremated). Technically we didn’t lie…. It didn’t feel right to post this before they were told, which they now have been, when they can mourn without school commitments and plays.
^ I can’t thank that little rabbit enough for sparing the boys the sight of his remains. They can remember him as the leaping, wonderful, pain-the-neck-to-catch, little ball of bounding fur he was.
^* Though, unfortunately, we think it might have a little bit. The illness hit just before the weekend when he lost his appetite and didn’t appear to move much. Over the next few days he perked up and ate, but by Monday morning it was apparent something was seriously wrong. After investigating his hutch and finding very little poop, I suspect he might have had a blockage in his piping somewhere. The plan was to take him to the vet as soon as the boys were at school, but unfortunately, he decided to head off before then. Though, the vet stated if it had been a digestive blockage he probably would’ve been unlikely to survive the surgery. I’m glad he went quietly, at home, cuddled in his straw. If he had to go, that sounds like the better way.
*^ My condolences to any astral body or spiritual being who ever has to catch him. Dear Universe, if you have a cosmic sofa, check behind there. If not, check beneath the cosmic display case.