Max and the girls attended a rabbit show this past spring. They said it was like nothing they had ever seen before. Rabbits EVERYWHERE! I guess one would think there would be at a rabbit show, but the people attending were hard core! Many had big trailers to haul their hoppy friends. Some traveled from far away places. Many were trading rabbits. Quite a few were breeding theirs to other attractive specimens. No biggie. Children could be seen assisting in that process. This was all totally acceptable there.
Claire went with three rabbits to show. The family quickly realized our little rabbits were way out of their league. They got disqualified for things like errant white hairs in the black, being too old, and being a little too chubby. (We didn’t tell Tillie–what good would it have done?) Claire did manage to squeak one finish out of a lenient judge, but she certainly didn’t leave with any blue ribbons. Expectations were high, folks. Very high!
While hanging out in Rabbitville, they met a very nice couple who sold a buck Rex to Brooke. The fact that Brooke spent some of her money on anything (she hoards her cash) is almost worthy of a blog post, but I’ll leave that alone. Brooke had a plan to breed her buck to Claire’s Rex doe.
(I have a very comical tale of Brooke and Claire’s rabbits “meeting”, but I don’t have the energy to write it out right now, and I’m not entirely positive I could do it with enough tact. That event will go down as one of the funnier things to happen in our family’s existence. My mom and brother can attest. You can ask me in person some time–I’ll tell you the story)
We’re going to skip ahead to the point of this post.
Max and Kevin (man who sold Rex to Brooke) have kept in contact. At some point they arranged for Kevin to donate several rabbits to GGYR. Very kind. The hand off happened on Saturday when this nice family came in from Clovis, NM with THIRTEEN rabbits for us. French Lop, Holland Lop, mini Rexes, English Lops. Bunny awesomeness. Four were very large animals–Max described them as dog-sized.
When Max got them to the ranch he separated them by gender and age to maybe help control the pet population. (Thanks, Bob Barker.) He put four of the large males in what used to be the white duck pen. The bunnies and females were put in another locale. Let’s jump ahead to Sunday, shall we?
So Max got to the ranch Sunday morning to feed the zoo full of animals. When he entered the rabbit pen he noticed one of the large males was dead. He also saw another one lying down but could not tell if it was dead or just resting. When he went to reach for it, he heard a rattling sound. Yep, rattle snake right there in the pen with him less than a foot away from his hand.
That would be bad to have a snake in the pen with you, right? Well, to make it worse the door to the pen closed behind Max and he was trapped in. Max said he was very proud of his fingers for somehow reaching though the fence to the latch. He got out without being bit. Sadly, the rabbits did not.
When Max left Sunday, he had two dead rabbits but noticed a definite bite on a third and the fourth one’s condition unknown.
Monday morning–rabbit number three was dead.
Wednesday morning–rabbit number four also dead. Did sadness kill this one? We don’t know. Fear? Maybe. A bite? Probably.
We are super sad about this and feel just awful. We have not seen a rattle snake at the ranch in a couple of years. Why did one have to mosey over and kill our new rabbits before they could even be photographed, named, and loved?? Max thinks Mr. Rattles found a nice shady spot and the rabbits were just curious and hopped over to meet him. Big fat bummer!
Here’s the happy part of my story–
My husband didn’t perish.
Thanks so much to Four Brabbitry for your generous donation! We sure hope we can keep the other nine alive and well for some time to come. They are beautiful animals which I know will bring happiness to lots of children.