A STORY FOR THE CHILD IN ALL OF US:
Twitch and Fluffy had well settled together into the shed provided for them in the fenced-in yard of the elderly couple who had purchased them at the Fair. Within 3 months their first litter of 6 'kits' were born. All 6 were healthy and received full attention from Fluffy and would so until they reached their own maturity in 3 months. There were 3 each of male and female, and Fluffy and Twitch agreed that they would each name the 3 female and 3 males respectively.
From left to right, given their individual characteristics, the 3 females were named Greycious, Puff, Snow, ... and the 3 males Stud, Dreamer, and Nosey.
Given the rapid maturity of the kits, the shed had soon become too crowded for all. Hence, the elderly couple had to decide that which they had not considered when they first brought Twitch and Fluffy to their house. That is, the kits would have to be given away to loving homes.
For children hearing or reading this story, it should be noted that mother rabbits are not maternal as are humans as to providing for their children. In fact, they consider their responsibility as to bringing the children into maturity within several months and to let them be as they will. This is the true nature of rabbits. Hence, when the elderly couple made the decision to give away the kits once they were fully grown, Fluffy and Twitch would be happy for their kits and would not feel the loss as we humans do with the departure of our children.
Indeed, as with most sisters and brothers, each of the kits had very individual personalities. Dreamer, for example, rarely interacted with his
brothers and sisters. True to his name, he would spend most of the sunny days laying on his back near the opening to the shed in a wealth of tall grass looking for images in the clouds as they rolled by. His favorite vision was a cloud that reminded him of Snow and her pure white fur. On rainy days, Dreamer would shelter himself by the fence under some large ferns relaxing with the sound of the rippling creek nearby. On these days he would simply relax on his back while chewing endlessly on several thin firms and thinking of absolutely nothing, well nothing seriously.
As to Stud and Nosey, these two young males at first would spend much of their days competing with each other in a typical boyish fashion by the fence that bordered the woods. Twitch had warned them that were several foxes in the woods in that portion of the fence, and that they should stay clear of that area. But for Stud and Nosey this information created a challenge to see which one could get the closest and stay the longest near the fence. How foolish they were in that one day a fox did appear on the other side of the fence while Nosey was strutting along with a false sense of security. At first, Nosey didn't see the fox until it snipped harmlessly at him through the fence. Although not injured, both rabbits scurried back to the shed with their tails and noses twitching uncontrollably. Twitch immediately sensed their fear and proceeded to scold them: "I HOPE YOU LEARNED A LESSON AS TO LISTENING TO ME!" Indeed, they had for they took their boyish games to the fence near the creek from that time on.
As to the 3 females, they would spend sunny days lounging near the haystack in a corner of. the yard. They would often discuss their brothers, especially the childish competition between Stud and Nosey - 'How silly those two boys are.' was the common thought'. Greycious was the largest of all of the kits and would often nudge herself into the softest pocket of the haystack. Puff and Snow would settle for the edge of the haystack not wishing to challenge Greycious' demand for space. When Fluffy would join them for playtime, their favorite game was when Mom would go to the garden to obtain a bunch of parsnips (a particular favorite of young rabbits), and then hide the parsnips in the other side of the haystack for the 3 to find, with the winner having it to herself; Well! only initially for Fluffy would make it clear that they were required to share nonetheless.
In turn, there was some jealously between the 3 females that developed in several weeks given the difference in the level of attention that each would receive from children in the neighborhood. That is, the neighborhood children were permitted to enter the rabbits' fenced-in area to interact with them on almost a daily basis. Snow, with her pure white fur and delicate nature, seemed to be the favorite of 3 year old Suzy from the house next door to the elderly couple.
Suzy would very gently pick up Snow and cuddle her endlessly, - AS ALL rabbits truly enjoy. It was 8 year old Johnny that would continue to crudely pick up Greycious in a very uncomfortable way for her. Hence, Greycious really didn't like Johnny and would attempt to hide in a corner of the shed when she saw him enter the yard. That meant that Puff became the target for Johnny in that the male rabbits were too quick for Johnny to catch.
At night, all of the kits would return to the shed to share a meal of fresh carrots and crisp leafage that Fluffy and Twitch gathered from the garden provided by the elderly couple; Only Mom and Dad were permitted in the garden. Each of the kits was expected to talk about their experiences that day. So often the girls would note the things that the boys did that day that might get the boys in trouble with Mom and Dad. In return, Stud and Nosey would make funny faces at the girls, but not insight of Mom or
Dad. Before going to sleep, each of the kits were given tasks that they were to do the next day. The boys were expected to straighten up the shed with new straw from the haystack, and the girls were required to clean up generally around the yard, but NEVER near the fence. They all were told about Stud's and Nosey's experience with the fox.
Several weeks later the family was confronted with the inevitable. The elderly couple had encouraged some neighbors to visit and possibly take one of the kits with them for a new home. Suzy's parents were the first to take up the offer. Indeed, they selected Snow given Suzy's interaction with her. At first, the other kits were surprised to see Snow taken outside of the fenced-in yard. Shortly after Snow's departure, Fluffy and Twitch brought the other kits into the crowded hut and explained to them that this was natural for the family. They explained that this was NOT a sad moment in any way. Rather, this was a JOYFUL day for Snow in that she would be with a loving human family and well taken care of. They told them that there would be a time soon when each of them would have the same opportunity to be with their own human family. Stud and Nosey were indifferent at that point as to the human families. As young males their only thoughts at that point were about pursuing their individual freedoms, especially the creek next to the yard. True to nature, Dreamer only wished to be left alone in his enjoying nature around him, especially the clouds. However, for Greycious and Puff there was some anxiousness for them. Greycious would have to find other things to have control over given her nature as the largest of the female kits. However, Puff was hoping that she would also would soon escape so as to not have to deal with Jonny any longer.
The next day, two families came to visit the rabbits. The first family had both a young boy and girl that were at first shy as to approaching the kits. Instinctively, Puff saw her opportunity and approached the girl by brushing up to her leg and then rolling over on her back. The mother of the child told her that it was ok to pet the rabbit and not to be scared. Within minutes, both the girl and boy were requesting their turn with Puff. Puff left with that family within an hour.
The second family first saw Dreamer when they entered the fenced-in yard. Their son immediately approached Dreamer to pet him. Dreamer was surprised at this sudden attention and simply laid there at first. But, the young boy continued his petting and then gently holding Dreamer to cuddle him. Dreamer was the next to leave. It was now the 3 kits that returned to shed for dinner that evening. Twitch and Fluffy spent the evening with the 3 discussing that their turn was to come as to being adopted.
The next day, there was only 1 visitor. Early in the morning, a young woman with flowing gowns entered the yard with some carrots in her hand. She simply sat on a bench within the yard near the gate and held the carrots out from her without any beckoning of the kits. Her thought was to have one of the remaining 3 kits pick her, and not the other way around. Stud and Nosey were not interested and continued with their boyish games at the fence along the creek. Greycious, however, came from her space in the haystack to observe this young woman. Having it already been several days without her sisters, Greycious' ears were drooping from her loneliness. At the same time, however, the sight of the carrots at this early. time of the day gave her some incentive to approach the woman. Slowly she left her secluded spot in the haystack and approached the woman. Noting the approach of Greycious, the woman held the currents out further from her and laid them on the ground in front of her. Greycious cautiously approached the carrots and took one in her paws and proceeded to eat it in a most joyous manner. She then started for a second carrot, and the woman reached out to touch Greycious gently on her head. Greycious bowed her head to receive the woman's touch only to be brought to the woman's chest to be cuddled. Greycious had this sudden feeling of comfort that she had not felt before and settled comfortably into the woman's arms. Greycious was taken out of the yard that afternoon by the woman.
The 2 young males returned to the shed that evening for dinner unaware of what had happened that day. The absence of their brother and 3 sisters had not settled into their minds until then. Twitch and Fluffy sensed their sons' sudden awareness and possible concern as to their future as the boys started to think beyond their boyish games. Twitch decided to take the boys aside and ask them about their feelings. Stud was the first to speak saying that he feared that he and Nosey would be separated. Twitch thought about this for a moment and said that he had the strategy for the two when the next visitor would arrive at the yard. The boys listened intensely as Twitch provided the strategy to them. He made it clear to them that they both had to follow it if indeed they wanted to be together moving forward.
The next day was rainy in the morning with the sun coming out at noon. As usual, the boys were loafing by the fence near the creek under some large ferns. However, their interaction was different this morning given the advice of Twitch. It was not competitive between them now, but rather serious how to take their Dad's advice. When the sun was out, a couple of young men visited the yard. They were new to the neighborhood and had heard that there were rabbits that could be adopted. When they entered the yard, the 2 men went in different directions seeking out the rabbits that were there. Stud and Nosey down by the creek noted them before they were noted by the 2 men. With their Dad's suggestion in mind, each of the boy's approach one of the men by rubbing up against a leg, and then turning on their backs so as to be petted on their stomachs. Twitch's strategy, assuming there was a couple, was then to approach the other individual of the couple and do the same. So, the two boys did so. That did it as the two men agreed that they should take both rabbits. And so, it was, all 6 kits had been adopted, and only Twitch and Fluffy remained in the yard and in the shed that evening. To be clear, Twitch and Fluffy were BOTH very happy for their children, with the prospect that there would be more in their future.
So is the life of domesticated rabbits.