Monday, April 14, 2014

Baby Bunnies

Congratulations to me, I've got seven little rabbits in my charge. They are so little... too little. In my heart (and because of all I've read on the internet) I know they will not likely survive. But I'll give them all the love I can until they go to bunny heaven.

Friday morning, while it was still dark, I heard Tom mumbling, "Ew, what is that?" His hand ran into a warm fur ball while he was feeling around the floor for his socks. He flipped on the light and said, "Rabbits. There are rabbits all over the floor."

Startled awake, I thought, Did he say rabbits or am I dreaming? Wait, maybe he's dreaming.

No one was dreaming. There were rabbits, closed-eyed, squeaky critters inside our house, right in our upstairs bedroom. Seven of them, scattered all over the floor where they had been deposited on the white carpet by our sweet dog Phoebe -- presumably. Phoebe, caught looking sheepishly proud and hopeful, Look what I found. They're just babies. You should take care of them.

Tom gathered the bunnies in a shallow box and put them back outside near the dug up nest. Silly mama had put them inside the fence, which is Phoebe's domain. Tom put the box on the opposite side of the fence and covered half of it with a towel. Good thing, because it rained sometime that morning while we were both gone. When I came home a few hours later some of the babies were cool. I warmed them up and got a few drops of liquid in them with a syringe. And then researched and read how to care for wild bunnies. Basically, don't. Leave them alone and let nature run it's course.

Two problems. First, Phoebe dug up their nest and the experts on the internet say mama rabbit won't return if an animal has interfered with the nest site. Second, we humans had already handled the bunnies -- Tom to put them in a box. Me to warm them and feed them and cozy them up in a fleecy man-made (actually, woman-made) nest.  When the sun went down and the air cooled off, I couldn't bear to leave them outside over night. So the box came in, the babies were hand fed again and an incandescent light shined a bit of warmth on them all night long.

Three days later, I'm still hand feeding baby bunnies and keeping them warm. They aren't getting fat and strong, I think they're getting weaker. Oh woe is me. My only consolation is this, I tried to save them. I gave them lots of love in their short little lives. I'll keep trying until there is no more hope. But for now, here's hoping.

In the end, if they survive will it be nurture or nature?  If they succumb, will it be my faulty attempts at nurture or will it be the strength and wonder of nature? Only God knows. I trust He's watching over me and my little bunnies.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care.
Matt. 10:29


Mihaela Lica Butler said...

Betsy, this is such a lovely, amazing story! With your care, and love, some will survive, if not all. I will pray for them. :) Keep us posted.

Betsy Henning said...

Aw, thank you, Mig!

Sarah Rose said...

My eyes are wet---and it's not because of the rain.

Kristine Riddle said...

They are precious, and you are wonderful to care for them. Virginia was thrilled to help feed them yesterday. She's hoping and praying little Pipsqueak pulls through.

Betsy Henning said...

Thank you for taking time to read and comment dear friends.

Kristine, tell Virginia that pipsqueak seems to be quite the fighter!

Marian Korth said...

Beautiful story! Phoebe is a wonderful dog with a sweet maternal instinct. Hope the bunnies survive.

Betsy Henning said...

Thanks Marian, for the good wishes and the kind words. :)