Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bunny Heaven

I took the dogs up to the cemetery to run them this morning. Little Sally Pumpkinhead mostly stayed with me but Duke ran off on in a search for rabbits. He checked around the cemetery's metal storage building and then started a systematic search of the large evergreen bushes scattered among the gravestones and markers. I find it very amusing whenever I see the back half of Duke protruding from the bottom of a large cone shaped bush. Those bushes are so dense Duke cannot get all the way inside so the only way I can tell if any rabbits are hidden in there is by watching his tail. If his tail is still, no rabbits. If his tail is wagging furiously, rabbits. As long as the rabbits do not panic and make a run for it they are as safe as a bar of gold in Fort Knox. That is, most of the time.

As we neared the end of our morning run Duke was nowhere to be seen so I started calling his name. After about 30 seconds I spotted him half way across the cemetery running towards me. As he got closer I noticed he had something in his mouth which looked as if it could be a dead bird. When he got within 30 feet of me he stopped and dropped what he was holding. When it hit the ground I could see it was a small mound of tan colored fur. Little Sally Pumpkinhead also noticed that Duke had dropped something and started trotting quickly over to him to take a closer look and, I could tell, maybe steal it away from him. I rushed over, got there just before she did, and picked the lump of fur up. It was a still warm baby bunny. I don't know how old it was but it just fit in my open hand. I had pick it up in such a way that it now lay on its back with its tiny paws held up in the air. It had tiny ears like a terrier puppy and its mouth was slightly open with the tip a tiny tongue sticking out. Its eyes were almost completely closed and as I stared at it I wondered if it could see me. I also wondered if it was alive because I swear it moved a little when I first picked it up. Then I wasn't sure because it lay limp in my hand.  Was what I interpreted as slight movement by the bunny  simply gravity pulling at the body when I picked it up?  I kind of hope it had died in my hand as that would mean it had not died alone. No living thing should leave this earth without the knowledge that another living thing was there to bear witness and mourn its passing.

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