Tropical Depression: May all beings be free from suffering: late winter in the country It was early morning, towards the end of March. My husband left to head north at 4:15 and, though I didn’t get up right away, it wasn’t long until I gave up on sleeping and started my usual morning routine. The dog, a 14 year old Cairn Terrier, eventually got up and came downstairs to be let out. Our neighborhood is desolate in the winter (with an uptick to ‘quiet’ in the summer); the speed limit is 15, so we seldom take the dog for a leashed walk in the early morning.
After a few minutes, as is the routine, I opened the door to see if she had returned and there she was, trotting up the driveway, looking very serious. She was focused. She had something in her mouth. There had been a few episodes last summer where she killed voles, the little ground dwelling something-or-others that burrow in people’s lawns and disrupt their, well, their lawns I guess. So I was expecting a vole type situation, but what I pried from her little vice-like jaws was a bunny. A silky smooth, too young to even have it’s eyes open, heart still beating, still moving, snuggling, leaking mother’s milk from the hole in it’s belly where my damn dog had punctured it, bunny.
I cradled the snuggling bunny in my hands, wrapped it in a scarf, held it close, whispered words of comfort, paced around the house, went outside, came back in. Leave the bunny outside or find an animal rescue? Leave the bunny outside or find an animal rescue? Went outside again, came back in again.
I called my husband- he was halfway to New Hampshire. “Leave the bunny outside.“ Easier said than done. In this town wild bunnies are everywhere but there in my hands was a life, a snuggling, warm, gentle, clover munching life and this animal was going to die and I was going to be the witness. This is the way it goes.
I stood with that snuggling bunny, sobbing, going in and out of the house over and over and over until I sort of came to terms with the situation; I eventually settled on a suitable spot near the corner of the house to place it, under a bush. I don’t know how to explain the difficulty of that decision, leaving the bunny outside, but it broke my heart as if I was putting down a much loved pet. I buried it on Easter Sunday with an early dandelion, a sprig of rosemary, a clipping of wild strawberry and a nice rock from the beach.
May all beings be free from suffering.
May all beings know happiness and the root of all happiness.