The calendar says that it is spring. The grass is green like spring. The trees are blooming like spring (whoever said a “riot of color” really hit the nail on the head). The perennials have pushed up (truly amazing). The wasps started building a nest on the underside of my deck right under my chair (I put the kibosh on that). And the bunnies have had babies.
We live in an area of town known for the wild domesticated bunnies. They are not wild bunnies which are appropriately camouflaged in dull brown. No, they are like bunnies that someone had as pets and then let loose into the world. They are white and black and tan. And variations of those colors. While these bunnies look like they are pets. They are not. They are wild. They gladly accept my vegetable scraps but they do not want me to get anywhere near them (except for one). They foraged all winter and mostly survived it. And then they started reproducing.
The first baby bunnies we saw were across the lawn near the big house. They would venture out from under the steps. In whites and tans. Not camouflaged at all. Standing out brilliantly against the grass. We could tell, even from the distance, that they were very cute and small. And skittish. They would bolt at any loud noise.
Then, two more showed up. Maybe from behind the barn. On our turf. One was black and the other white with tan spots. They were so small. And so cute. They were always out foraging during the day. I quickly learned that they were unaware of the dangers of remaining under a car once it started to move. The bigger ones seemed to have figured it out and would run out from under the car. Baby bunnies, not so much. Whenever I pulled out, I looked to make sure that I had not crushed one under my tires. And I don’t think that I did.
On Friday, I noticed that the little black bunny seemed off. He was foraging around in the grass. Eating and all. But there was a weird reddish patch on his side and his back leg looked kind of janky. I tried to get a closer look and one of his back legs had definitely been broken. It seemed to be facing the wrong way. But he seemed fine. And I told myself that maybe he would be. Maybe he would just be a little gimpy for the rest of his life.
Until I saw him the next day. And he did not look good. He was not moving. He looked like he was shivering a little. And his eyes were half closed. It was Saturday. I had a class that I was taking that started at 10:00. Were vets open? They were. I called the closest one. They said that they really didn’t do bunnies. They told me to take him to the vet my mom goes to. I called them. They said that I could bring him.
I was able to get him to scootch into a small box with a little coaxing. I did not even have to seal the lid of the box because he was so lethargic. When I got to the vet, they asked me if I wanted to take ownership of the bunny or surrender him as a wildlife rescue. I asked if I had to decide right then. She told me no. That the vet would call with an assessment and that I could decide. I filled out a form and went to my class. I had a mad vision of taking the bunny and giving it to my mom. Building it a hutch outside. A project.
I drove to my class and when I got there, I had a message. It was from the vet. “Severely broken leg, bone sticking out. Abrasive type trauma. Skin missing. Deep and infected wounds. Prognosis poor. Lot of discomfort. Euthanizing most humane thing. Wonderful of you. Best course of action.” I called back and she thanked me for bringing him in. I told her that I understood. And it just made me really sad.
I wonder if I ran over the bunny. Or the neighbor. Or one of the farm vehicles. It’s hard to say. We don’t think that it was an injury from a predator. Part of me just did not want to deal with the bunny. That first day when he was gimpy and foraging. Part of me wanted the neighbor to see the bunny and deal with him. But it was meant to be me. And while it riotously looks like spring. It does not feel like spring to me. The air is still cool. I am still wearing my winter coat. And I am carrying the injured bunny around in my heart. I’m trying to feel like spring. The other baby is still fine. We just saw him. And I started calling him Foo Foo because that seems like the right name. Maybe when the weather changes for good and I can keep the windows open. Really put away the winter coat. Then maybe I can have Foo Foo in my heart instead. But for now if just feels kind of cold and black. And not like spring.