Friday, March 4, 2016

A Bunny Funeral

Part of choosing to have animals - and a lot of them - is the knowledge that they will, in fact, die.

Last fall, when Techno went on a work trip to Ohio, raccoons managed to infiltrate our chicken coop and killed two of our hens.  The ensuing adventure was just that -- quite an adventure.  Staring down raccoons with a flashlight; trying to scare them away by banging on the run walls; tossing rocks at the raccoon that refused to jump off the coop roof; setting traps; catching coons; needing to dispose of said raccoons.  All while Doug was out of town.  I declared we were official 'farm, mountain folk' after that escapade.

Now, here we are.  A new year.  Techno in Ohio for work again.  A friend reminded me of our mishaps that occurred the last time Techno traveled.  I thanked her for her happy memories.  :-)

Monday morning, little Miss Charity decided to go pet her bunny that she received as a gift on her Birthday last fall.  A few minutes later she returned with tear stained cheeks.  "I think Orchid is dead," she sniffled.  Upon further inspection by her big sister, it was confirmed.  Our very first rabbit had passed away in the night.  Tears fell.  Words of comfort were spoken.

Orchid being loved on by the girls
Although losing a beloved pet is difficult; sad; heartbreaking, I'm glad our children get to experience this life event.  It's not easy, but it teaches them a great deal.

The circle of life.

It helps them appreciate what they have and realize we never know when our time is going to be up.  When something we love dearly is no longer going to be with us.

Following the tears and sharing memories and thoughts of Orchid, the older children dug a hole so we could bury her the next day.

Elijah found a 'soft' spot to dig
It always amazes me to see how resilient little ones are.  Sure, Charity remained sad about her first bunny pet, but she accepted the reality that she was now gone and moved on.  She mentioned her throughout the day, but with fondness rather than severe sadness.  She planned the 'funeral' and asked often when we'd be able to complete her burial.

The next morning, we went outside and had a little 'funeral' for Orchid the New Zealand rabbit.  It was sweet.  It was short.  It was closure.

Making the hole bigger

The hole wasn't quite big enough so a bit more digging was in order.  

Team work to find rocks

Looking for rocks, or just running.  Either way, joy was exuded

It's still snowy and cold here, not to mention we live on a mountain, so the soil is mostly rocks.  We knew the hole wasn't necessarily deep enough to prevent predators from digging up our pet bunny's body.  The search began for large rocks to roll over her gravesite.  The joy the girls experienced as they ran around our property finding rocks; carrying them to the graveside; rolling them along the plain; filled my heart with joy and loads of memories for years to come.

Orchid's 'headstone' of sorts

As we finished digging the hole and gathering up rocks and a large pallet to cover it, the girls produced a large brick to write an inscription upon to memorialize Orchid and her resting place.  It was touching.

A few words were shared.  A prayer spoken.  Our little funeral was complete.

Yep, this is life living in the country.

Owning land and animals.



They go hand in hand.

What a wonderful time of bonding together as we celebrated the joy this rabbit brought to our family - even if for a short time, and the teamwork that her burial produced.

Charity and Selah spending one last moment with Orchid

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