Today’s prompt is ‘What’s that?’…but my take on it is a little obscure so I probably should explain.
A few years ago on a windy night the kids and I returned home from dinner with friends to find a tiny, scared ball of fur in the middle of the road out the front of our home. Scooping this ball of smallness up we quickly realised it was a rabbit. A tiny tiny rabbit. The children fell instantly in love. My heart broke. Tiny tiny baby rabbits who have been taken from their mothers don’t usually…do well.
So we found a box and our tiny tiny rabbit adventures began…starting with the tiny tiny rabbit not being in that box in the morning. That was not a great morning.
With its eyes open we decided that our tiny tiny rabbit should eat greens.
It did not.
After a day of offering everything I could think of I was at my wits end (some would say it wasn’t such a long journey). This tiny tiny ball of fur was beating me and wouldn’t live if I couldn’t tempt it to eat…the children had given their hearts completely to this little life. There were going to be tears from everyone.
Just when all hope seemed lost a friend called over for a cup of tea and seeing the cage we had our baby tucked up inside asked… ‘What’s that?’. I told her my sorry tale of impending tiny tiny rabbit starvation and she told me that it wasn’t eating ‘solids’ because it wasn’t old enough. It wasn’t a tiny tiny rabbit. It was a tiny tiny…hare. They’re born with their eyes open but only feed from their mothers. This poor little baby was only days old at best.
A frantic trawl around google, a trip to the vet, some small feeding bottles and a very hungry tiny tiny hare who was prepared to take anything as long as it didn’t have to chew and we were away! Children were setting alarms to get up and be the ones who took care of night time feeds, tiny swaddling cloths were fashioned to make feeding easier for everyone and we as a family discovered that there’s NOTHING in the world that’s cuter than a baby hare with a ‘milky tash’. There was a lot of love being poured into our tiny tiny hare.
The thing with hares is…they’re wild. Our round the clock attention saw our ‘Nimble’ grown in leaps and bounds and soon there was no wriggle room left in the little cage we used as a nursery so we bought a larger outdoor home and hoped Nimble didn’t outgrow it as quickly.
The MOMENT Nimble felt the wind blow over his ears…he was wild. We stopped being bringers of crispy hydroponic lettuces and spaghetti-ified carrots and instead we became something to be feared and hidden from. My heart broke more than anyone’s. I knew Nimble couldn’t stay…but where could he go? He wasn’t a pet. He was a wild hare.
Then a few nights later serendipity stepped in and helped both Nimble and I take that next step. One morning after a windy night…just like the one when I found Nimble I woke up to find the cage door open without a sign of Nimble to be found. Maybe I didn’t latch it properly? Maybe unsettled by the wind Nimble kicked out with those powerful legs and the door opened? Either way Nimble was gone. He had come to us when he needed us and he had left us when he was strong enough. Sometimes the universe knows exactly what it’s doing.
Years later I hope Nimble is still out there somewhere. He gave us just as much…maybe more than we ever could have given him.