Still thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e’e.
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!
last stanza to Robert Burns poem dating 1785
The other evening I was out watering the plants.
We were babysitting our grand-dog while the kids had gone to the beach
with our daughter-in-law’s family–so the old black lab was right by my side.
I have two fig trees in pots nestled within my shrubbery and while I was watering,
I was also picking a few ripe figs…
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a tiny wee little brown beastie came wobbling right
in front of me.
Half wobbling and half hopping.
Luckily the old black lab, Alice, didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary as
I told her to go back toward the house.
One thing she is, is a mindful dog—I quickly threw down the hose.
I had to do a double-take because I wasn’t certain I was actually seeing a baby
rabbit as it was just so tiny.
He kept coming toward me and instinctively I picked him up and drew him close to me.
He nestled into my warmth.
His fur was irradescent…he was that young.
I called out to my husband to come quick.
“What do I do, what do I do” I practically wailed while holding this tiny brown bundle.
“Are you sure that’s a rabbit” my husband quips.
Yes, I sardonically replied…we have had a wealth of rabbits in the yard this year and
I know my rabbits. This was no mouse or squirrel.
The rabbits I’ve seen have been in the back of the house…I’ve not seen any upfront
so close to the house.
My husband pulls out his phone and turns to google to read what’s out there about
finding a baby rabbit.
“We need to find its den, its nest” he explains.
Den??? Nest??? What???
I don’t see a den or a nest, just a baby rabbit wobbling about in the pine straw
near my potted plants.
I also look for some information and everything I read emphatically says to
“put it back where you found it.”
I know from heartbreaking experience, baby wild rabbits, despite our best intentions,
are nearly impossible to raise to adulthood.
I gently put down “hoppy” and said a little prayer.
I always ask St. Francis to come help when I find baby wildlife.
Sunday we headed over to Atlanta to take Alice back home since her people had returned
from the beach blessedly in one piece and COVID free.
Once back home, late Sunday afternoon, I hesitantly ventured out into the yard,
looking for little “Hoppy”.
Low and behold, my small bundle heard me making my way over to the shrubbery and he,
or she, came tumbling toward me.
And the thing is, he didn’t hesitate…he actually kept working his way toward me.
He reminded me of when I first found Percy as a kitten.
I was reluctant yet tiny Percy kept making his way toward me as if to say…
I am yours.
I put this tiny baby back down while running inside to bring out some lettuce, just to
see if he take to it…knowing he was still most likely nursing.
I read that mothers will leave the dens during the day to feed and return only briefly
at night to nurse their “kits.”…and sadly not all kits are meant to live.
Crawling around on all fours through the pine straw, in and out of the bushes,
I did a little investigating thinking surely there must be a hollowed-out spot near a bush…
a nest of sorts.
When low and behold, I watched my little friend as he headed toward a small opening
camouflaged in the pine straw.
There was a tiny little hole, with a good bit of soft fur around the opening…
“Ah-ha” I heard myself exclaim…. finally there was indeed a nest!
I felt better knowing he’d not just wandered away and was alone.
My husband asked if I could see any other “kits” down in the hole but I wasn’t
too keen on poking my hand down into a hole in the pine straw.
I left some lettuce and walked away, once again, saying a tiny prayer
for my tiny friend.
We’ll see what tomorrow might bring…
I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,