the NW coast of Scotland gets a lot of rain.
This is a tale of a cotton-tail
called Rabs who was a victim
of a very sustained period of rain.
Walking up to the phone box,
I saw a dead baby rabbit in the water swollen ditch,
beside which a tiny shivering
baby bro/sis was huddling.
I gently lifted the little mite up
and scuttled home.
This is Rabs in a half pint
How to raise him was the next question?
I guessed he wasn't even weaned,
so I started the long process of
gently dribbling from my hand, tiny
amounts of goats milk into his hungry mouth.
He against all odds survived,
better than that, he thrived.
A house rabbit who strangely
thought he was human.
Katie, the Westie, took to him;
they were great pals playing hide and seek
around the sofa.
Rabs was potty trained in an evening.
I lined a cut down plastic container
with newspaper, every time Rabs looked as
if he was about to produce poo of the currant kind,
I plonked him in the rabbit commode.
By the end of the night, he knew what was expected of him.
The next day I put the container under the sofa to
give him a degree of privacy,
even a rabbit needs a modicum of decorum.
He had the newspaper, so the job was a goodun.
He could take so long as he liked.
He quickly became part of the family,
even to the extent of jumping up onto the
arm of the chair and helping himself to
salad on the side of my plate.
On one occasion sitting writing a
letter in the armchair, he jumped up
and pinched the top off my pen.
The word flew off the page...
'You'll never believe why this has
happened!' I wrote to my coz!'
Visitors who came to call,
would stop mid-sentence as they
caught a fleeting glimpse of a grey
furry creature disappearing behind the chair.
'Was that a rat?' writ large in their eyes!
He would sit in the tiled surround of
the old thirties fireplace, stretched out
basking in the heat.
We made an ark for Rabs
so that he could enjoy the garden.
Once a month I would drive the 110 miles
to Inverness for building supplies etc.
On one occasion I returned to
find him very badly injured quivering in the
covered area of his run.
His front leg looked as if it had been
broken and the skin on his tummy had been peeled back.
I can only think a weasel had attempted to get at him.
With careful nursing he survived.
He would sometimes be reluctant to come in,
who could blame him?
He would escape my clutches and run off.
Always allowing me to catch him.
Well that is until the last time...
Time to go!
The sad thing is, he didn't make it going alone,
he was found, dead under the bee hive.
The question this begs is,
did I do the right thing?
Us humans think we know best...
I'm not so sure!
This was Minty, one of the pet lambs.
Life is tough being truly self-sufficient and yes
we did eat him.
On a happier note,
this is the croft in Achnacarnin
overlooking the bay of
Rowan, the goat is sat on her favourite
rock watching the world go by.
Aaron, Katie and me
Aaron is wearing a hand spun jumper
made by me from beautifully soft
These memories were deep
in the old grey matter, long forgotten.
Until the lovely John Grey told us