I had to put down the Easter Bunny and other Initiations into (micro) Farm Life
Written by Calliope Pappadakis   
Friday, 10 April 2009 12:24

Yesterday was a sunny, blue-sky kind of day. I was feeling high on life, grateful for blessings that abound, and generally pretty smiley. I was watering seedlings in the high tunnel when I noticed Maggie having a grand time over by the barns. I went over, and my heart broke - she had caught a baby bunny, one that looked just like the picture in our album here on the site. She was proud, and he was hurt. I walked away, saddened, and continued watering, trying hard to ignore the situation right in front of me. When I was finished watering, I noticed Maggie had joined me in the tunnel, so I went to find what was left of the poor bunny.

To my dismay, I found a still-alive bunny, badly injured whose neck seemed to be broken. I walked away, terrified of what I knew was the most humane thing to do. I kept saying no, no, no, never. I was so torn - I loved that bunny and the newness of life that he represented in the spring time, but he was badly suffering in the sun, in the driveway, on some hard rocks, and Maggie kept charging him. I continued my work around the yard, transplanting some Dianthus, with teary eyes, and made up my mind.

 

Remembering my friend Chelsea's story when she had to help a badly injured bird her cats had caught, I began looking for a large, heavy flat rock. Sigh. I was shaky, scared as hell, but certain that I couldn't allow the baby to suffer to a long, slow death. I went to the high tunnel to find a sledge hammer, but instead came out with the digging iron that has one flat end and a long handle, a solution that would distance me. I went over to the little injured creature and he ran in circles, falling over and over again and my feet, and worst of all, crying. I told myself that as soon as I put the rock on him, I had to immediately follow through. And I did. Many tears followed. My first question, amidst shaking hands, and unsteady steps, was "Did I just do something unethical, or was that really the best thing for the suffering, injured bunny?" I had muddy feet from working in my crocs, so I hosed them off at the spigot, and ran upstairs, a complete mess, and through some sobs retold The Earthy Cowboy the story. He couldn't believe it. He was proud of my "fortitude" and said, "you're really a farm girl now." I had to smile a little, and then I cried again. He assured me that I did the right thing, though the hardest. 24 hours later I am still envisioning what happened, and I cringe and tear up every time. I don't ever want to have to do that again, ever. Maggie was back at her baby-bunny hunting last night, so chances are I'll be confronted with this another time.

I'm so tender to those kinds of things. I don't even like killing insects. It's the story of life though, and I feel a bit broken in today to the cycle of Mother Earth.