April 11, 2009

Rabbit Crossing

Watch out for rabbits, they are out in full force at this time of year! And not just clay rabbits either. Living in a more rural area gives us the opportunity, especially in spring, to have lots of wild rabbit sightings. I never tire of seeing them, even though some of our spring growth goes missing. They get the low bits, leaving the higher morsels for the deer.

Years ago I lived on a mountain ranch in California for a time. In the spring I posted a funky Rabbit Crossing sign at the beginning of the long dirt road leading up the mountain to my house. I didn't need the sign painting or post hole digging practice, but there were tons of baby rabbits migrating back and forth across that road daily. After the inevitable happened, and I hit one, the sign seemed the best course.

Jo, the woman who owned the ranch, looked gobsmacked when I raced to her house, the tiny rabbit wrapped in a blanket to slow its shock, and asked for the location of the nearest vet. While a good portion of her focus was spent controlling her amusement, the rest was used to calmly explain that my rescue attempt would be futile. By the time we finished those few sentences, my blanketed passenger had completed his journey.

Now I grew up in the land of farms, ranches and families with tons of pets, hence, I was quite familiar with the cycle of life. Obviously my twenty something reaction to the "passing" of one small rabbit MAY have been an "over-reaction". Non-the-less in the months that followed, the sign, erected in hopes of providing safe passage for rabbits and the like, remained. Well, remained until I moved on. I'm pretty sure Jo's sign posting tolerance didn't exceed my stay, yet while I was there she kindly allowed me to think I might be making a difference. In reality, she simply understood the first time you are responsible for the death of another living thing, it shakes you up. The story became fodder for campfire laughs when the ranchers all gathered for the next cattle roundup. They decided it was a city come to country tale. I chose not to correct the notion.

So now it's almost Easter, a time, among other things, for stepping out and enjoying springs colorful arrival and carrying on Rabbit filled traditions, though I'm still not clear about why Easter Bunnies bring eggs? This Easter, enjoy your families, nature and if you have any extra time you may want to put up your own Rabbit Crossing sign. Can't hurt, right?

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