My daughter came in the front door, calling, “Mom! Come here! Hurry!” I might’ve panicked, but the tone of her voice hinted at something pleasant. Again, she urged, “hurry!” As I came downstairs, “I said, ‘It’s not something that’s going to get loose in the house, is it?” She and her cousin giggled.
What greeted me were the big eyes and long ears of a huge brown rabbit! She and her cousin, Sydney, had just returned from going to a movie, and as they neared home they saw a rabbit in our country road. They stopped the car and got out and together were easily able to catch the huge rabbit.
Wild or Pet?
They immediately started debating whether it was wild, or a dumped pet. It looked just like a wild cottontail. In fact, it looked very much like the stock photo I used on my Favorite Blog Hops page. But it was easy to catch and very plump, making them wonder if it could have been a dumped pet.
The funny thing was the timing. Just the night before, Margaret and I had been sitting on our front porch enjoying the sunset, and were reminiscing. About ten years earlier when we first moved to our homestead we had brought two large New Zealand rabbits. During that first year or so, she raised several litters of baby rabbits. One of my favorite memories was when we brought them into the house to doctor their eyes and we had little rabbits jumping all over us. Margaret said she’d like to have a pet rabbit again. I admitted that even I had thought about having a pet rabbit. So now as she said she wanted to keep this one, it was hard to look at those big brown eyes and say no. It seemed possible that God agreed that she needed a rabbit.
It was about 10 o’clock at night and I didn’t mind her keeping it, but we had to find some basic supplies. We found a large plastic tub to contain him for the night, and some stainless steel pet bowls to put some food and water in.
When I awoke the next morning, Margaret was already up with the rabbit that she had named “Wiggles.” She was feeding Wiggles some cantaloupe in the den, and apologized if she had woken me up. She said Wiggles had woken her up early by thumping on the tub with his back feet.
Together we looked in our garage for supplies for a temporary litter box. I think most homesteads are like ours in that we accumulate a lot of stuff, stuff that comes in handy at times like these. We found a shallow cardboard box and some cat litter. We even still had the halter that she used with Lucy and Peter, her rabbits ten years ago.
Wiggles seems to be relaxing and making himself at home. He’s hopping around and enjoying the breakfast salad that Margaret made of clover, weeds, and cantaloupe.
Margaret looked up domestic rabbit breeds and found one called “San Juan” that looked exactly like this one. It said they were docile and made good pets, and also that they were bred to look like cottontails. She grimaced as she read that they were a popular choice for training hunting dogs, but then laughed at the thought that someone might have been using it for that purpose and she had rescued it.
We still haven’t solved the mystery, and haven’t tried to determine its gender yet, so for now it’s a “he.” There may possibly be a follow up post later on. As Margaret said, “Of all the things we’ve found in the road, this one is the most mysterious.”