I first saw the furry, little guy on the brick path leading to our front door. He seemed to be frozen, blankly staring at our palm tree with fixed, big bunny eyes. I slowly walked towards him and he didn’t hop away until I was mere inches from where he sat. There was no trace of a mother nearby; this defenseless ball of fluff was on his own.
“Maybe he was dropped by a hawk and hit his head,” I thought.
I hoped he would be OK.
A few days later, I walked into my garage and saw something moving near my husband’s workbench. It was the same baby bunny (who knows how he got in there) only this time he was much worse off, desperately flopping and rolling around on the floor. I got real close to get a good look at him; his little heart was beating like crazy. I scanned his body for injuries but he was absolutely perfect: His fur was clean and fuzzy, his oversized ears were flawlessly formed and those eye lashes..they were huge! (I never knew rabbits had such beautiful eyelashes!) He was completely whole, but something was obviously, terribly wrong.
“Maybe he’s got rabies, ” I thought.
I mumbled a choked-up prayer, grabbed my broom, ever so gently swept the little bunny into my dust pan and laid him by the bushes outside our front door. I could hear thunder in the distance and the sky was turning black, so I covered him with a partially cut up Amazon box for protection, not just from the approaching storm but from birds of prey who would surely tear him to pieces. I wet some spinach leaves and tucked them near his sweet head.
Did I think I’d come out a few hours later and find that he’d had a spinach induced, Popeye-style, miracle recovery? No, not really. I knew in my heart that he was going to die. It may sound weird, but at that point I just wanted this tiny, helpless being to feel calm and safe and yes, maybe even loved.
Can baby bunnies feel pain or fear or anything really? Who knows, it’s not like they can tell us.. but there has always been a strong, inner core of my soul that feels compelled to protect the most innocent and completely vulnerable of God’s creations.
It’s simply who I am…maybe you’re that way too.