Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Another Rabbit Story
I know Easter is over, but the farmer lost his uncle this weekend and I remembered this incident ...
When the farmhands were little, they wanted a bunny. Because bunnies are my favorite, one was adopted and set up in what was really the "Hilton" of hutches, complete with a covered house and even a large romp area covered with screen that sat on the grass. Two or three years into his (or her...we were never sure) adoption, Mopsy dug out of the covered grazing area causing quite stir. The escape was particularly poignant as it took place on Maunday Thursday just three days before Easter that year. We called, searched, baited with carrots all to no avail.
When we returned from church services that evening we drove down to the barn so the farmer could check on a pig, and when he backed up to leave the barn I heard what can only be described as a high pitched scream. We stopped and realized the farmer had, yes, backed over Mopsy who had been grazing beside the barn. It was bad enough the bunny dug out of his Hilton accomodations, and that the farmer ran over him, but to happen at Easter, well, this was bad, really bad.
To my utter amazement though Mopsy looked fine. It was the strangest thing, but there sat the rabbit still munching on clover. Closer investigation showed however, that he would/could not move and we decided to leave well enough alone and see how things looked the next day. We moved Mopsy into the barn and there he sat the next morning. I was in quite a toot. Here we were 2 days from Easter, both little farmhands very upset and a quadriplegic bunny to deal with. I knew we must visit the vet. I also knew this would be a battle with the farmer who does not believe in frequent doctor visits much less vet visits, but he took it well and reluctantly agreed it was the only thing to do.
The vet confirmed what I already believed ...that Mopsy's back/spine was broken and nothing could be done. He said Mopsy and was in no pain, but could not survive long as was, so I made an executive decision and had Mopsy put down. I paid the bill and came home to tell the little farm hands.
They took the news like troopers. I am sorry to report the same was not true for the farmer. You remember those old Popeye cartoons where Popeye and Brutus would be fighting and Brutus would grab a really mad Popeye around the neck and steam would come rolling out of Popeye's ears then the top of his head would blow off? Well, that is exactly what the farmer looked like when I handed him the vet bill of $50.
".......ARE YOU TELLING ME YOU PAID THAT VET $50 TO WHACK THAT RABBIT???" he YELLED. "...$50???????..."
"....ah, yeah......what was I supposed to do, buy him a little rabbit sized wheelchair ??" I retorted.
".........$50??????????........" he offered no alternative suggestion, just kept yelling "$50" over and over and over again looking crazy.
By now, I was almost in tears 'cause I really liked that bunny and I was the one who had taken the flippin' rabbit to the vet, made the heart-wrenching decision, then had to come home and tell a 2 and a 5 year old that 2 days before Easter, their pet BUNNY was no more. Now, to add insult to injury, I was getting the third degree from my husband as he literally blew his top because the bunny had to be put to sleep and it cost $50 to do the job. AND none of it was MY fault........he was the one who had run over the rabbit, not me.
"...why in 10 hells didn't you bring the rabbit home?????..." he finally sputtered.
...for WHAT??? What were YOU going to do with him??? You know you couldn't kill him so who was going to do the job????" (I felt like I was in a Saturday Night Live parody of The Godfather)
The conversation went round and round in circles for a while and finally just ended as steam continued to pour out of the farmer's ears. After all, the rabbit was dead and there was nothing to be done about it now.
As with many incidents here at Farm and Fru Fru, the story soon spread like wildfire. It took on a life of it's own with the farmer's friends calling and asking if I, the farmer's wife had REALLY paid $50 to have a rabbit whacked. Farmers everywhere began calling at all hours telling me, or worse, the farmer, they had a sick rabbit and could I come take it to the vet....etc...etc...etc... There is nothing like someone ELSE'S wife "throwing money around" to bring out the comedian in husbands everywhere.
Then came the call from the farmer's uncle, also a farmer. I answered the phone and after the question was asked and answered Uncle B said I should have called him as he would have done it for $25. That was the beginning of a very long running joke. EVERYTIME , everytime,I saw or talked to Uncle B after that....for MANY years, he would ask if I had any rabbits that needed killing and offer to do the job for $25.
I will miss Uncle B and his kind offer................thankfully though we don't currently have any rabbits...