The Companionship of a Rabbit
I’m taking a break from the serious side of life today and choosing to write about something that makes me feel good.
We call her Kadeekie.
She’s been with us for three summers in a row. Every year, she brings a baby or two into our backyard, but most of the time, she’s alone. Once or twice a couple horny bucks chased her round and round, oblivious to our presence. It’s true, testosterone really does cloud one’s judgement.
Kadeekie first came to us as a wee baby. We formed an alliance with her almost immediately.
We’ll share our backyard with you if you’ll allow us to be here, too.
That agreement has worked for all three of us. My husband and I come and go from our patio and Kadeekie comes and goes by crawling under the fence. She’s remarkably comfortable around us. She’s also very happy with the abundance of food available. She enjoys the shadowy recesses beneath both the tri willow and snowball bush. The shade in the summer and the protection from the occasional hawk flying overhead has turned these two bushes into her very own summer cottages.
It turns out that rabbits are pretty cool.
They spend a lot of time alone and I can respect that. I’m a loner, too. They love to eat. Who doesn’t? They run fast, jump high and keep their eyes on suspicious characters.
All in all, I’m impressed with the lives of rabbits.
This spring, Kadeekie is back. We’re thrilled. Rabbits don’t have long lives. I contend her sheltered life inside the confines of our small backyard must be pretty good as a rabbit’s life goes. I think that’s why she sticks around. She also seems more than happy to share the space with us as long as we keep a few feet between us at all times.
I work in my flower beds while she nibbles on clover nearby.
Once, however, she boxed a squirrel in the nose. He dared to join her under the snowball bush and she didn’t hold back. One, two, three quick but well delivered smacks in the nose and he was out of there.
Kadeekie doesn’t put up with intruders.
This could easily be her last summer with us. I hope not. This year, for the first time, I’ve been putting fresh kale and spinach out for her to eat. I was hesitant to do so in the past as I’ve never tried to domesticate her. Kadeekie is very capable of taking care of herself. I didn’t want to mess with that. But this year, I’m catering to her a bit more. She’s getting older and I can relate to that.
She really loves the treats I leave for her, too.
To make sure that she knows that it’s a gift from me, I never put fresh greens out for her unless she’s nearby to watch me do it. I think I’m resorting to a very human emotion, the desire to be loved. I doubt Kadeekie thinks like that all. It’s my guess that we’re both wired very differently.
But still, I like knowing that she’s watching me whenever I step outside with a bag of greens in my hand and walk over to the raised beds near her summer cottages to greet her. We establish eye contact and her ears twitch when I call her by name. I lay the food on the stones next to the raised beds, same spot every time, and then walk away. She doesn’t do anything to actually acknowledge my gift, but later on, I look out and the food has disappeared.
Sometimes, I sit on the edge of a cinder block flower bed and play music on my iPhone for her. I think she likes it — a lot.
Perhaps I’m assigning her too many human characteristics or have we made a connection? I choose to believe the latter.
I will miss Kaddeekie when she’s gone, but getting to know her has been so rewarding, even a bit humbling.
Teresa Roberts is a retired educator, author, world traveler ,and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.