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He Was A Fighter

May 6, 2013

Last week we found a baby bunny.  We fed him breastmilk from a little dropper and made him a home in a cardboard box.  He was just thrilled to be adopted into our family.   He had so much fun being handled by the children.  Picked up and put down.  Picked up and put down.  Carried around.  Picked up and put down.  Mary and Phil came to visit on Friday.  Elizabeth ran to get Little Rascal (so named by Charlie) to introduce him to Grandma and Grandpa, who took one look at the stiff bunny and whispered to me, “I don’t think he is alive?”

Dan immediately began a resuscitation attempt that involved some squeezing of the rabbit and some injecting of water into his mouth, but rigor mortis was already setting in.  Elizabeth dissolved into tears in Miss P’s lap, who rocked her back and forth like a baby whispering, “It’s okay Wibbeth.”

Charlie ran back and forth between Elizabeth and the kitchen delivering updates, and helpful suggestions, including: “I don’t think he’s dead, Elizabeth.  I think he is just frozen with joy!”

And: “Well, couldn’t we keep him and play with him just like we do with our dead rooster?”

Although tempted to add a dead rabbit to our interior decor, even I must draw the line somewhere.

Then much to our shock, as quickly as it had set in, rigor mortis set out!  “He’s thawing!”  Dan shouted.  And oh, what rejoicing  filled our home.  Little Rascal was breathing again.

Dan and I left Little Rascal to the care of Phil Olson, M.D. and went out for a hamburger.  Upon return, we immediately inquired about the rabbit.  Phil brought us to the little patient who was wrapped in a washcloth warming on the radiator.

Except he wasn’t.  The washcloth lay empty. After a little bit of running around, Dan found Little Rascal down in the radiator….still alive!  There was another life saving infusion of water into his open mouth, followed by another onset of rigor mortis….which was again a false alarm. He lived!  Things went on this way until morning, when the committee decided that, inexplicably, Little Rascal did not seem to be thriving under our care, and Charlie should release him to the wild.

About an hour later I walked out the front door to find the little fellow had been  released into the middle of our front walk… where he had died.  We remember him fondly and are comforted by the thought of the good time we showed him  those last few days. Thus ends the tale of Little Rascal.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 6, 2013 10:58 am

    From afar this reads with amusement — up close it was so tender — deep child-like affections so quickly developed; a father huddled over the tiny bit of fur respecting it’s fragile life as an example to the children — and a Mom and Grandmom trying to respond appropriately to the humor wrapped in angst.

  2. Teresa permalink
    May 6, 2013 12:13 pm

    Brings back memories of our attempts to save a little baby bunny when I was little… apparently they are very prone to heart attacks and should be left alone and handled/exposed to as little as possible. Which is very hard to do when you have an adorable little bunny and little kids with so much love to offer!

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