Thursday, June 24, 2010


I've come to the realization that I can't learn to do anything right without first doing it every possible way wrong. Or surmounting every concievable obstacle and problem surrounding whatever task or project I want to undertake. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not.

It was like that with the garden. Blight, mildew, various bugs, drought, flooding, no fertilization, no sprouts, and disease. And that was just in my first year. This year has been better. I can at least say that.

Yesterday, I had gathered up my camera and variety of rabbit care tools in the hopes of capturing me grooming one of the boys.  So I could show everyone that even a novice with no mentor, no farm past and no farm present can have a tiny slice of the life we Barnheart'ers crave.

It went first. I relieved Duncan of another mass of soft-as-air fluff. I trimmed off a hidden mat on his hind leg. All the while he was perfectly fine. Oh, there was the one moment when I was sitting in my anirondack chair softly cooing to the gentle beast while gathering his white gold when he got a bit spooked and jumped off my lap. I let him go, grabbing for him could hurt him more than the short jump from my knees to the wood pallet deck. He stopped after he landed and I scooped him back up and proceeded with the trimming.

He seemed fine. Until I put him back in his cage, his face smeared with blood. When things like this happen my heart jumps into my throat and otherwise stops altogether. Breath catches in my lungs, I have to tamp down the panic. I checked him over and found one nail hanging in the fur of his front paw. Somewhere during the trim -I'm thinking when he lept- it ripped off. The entire nail. Black claw and white bed. The blood flowed hard and red, he favored the other leg. Duncan washed perfusely which only aided in smearing the fresh red blood all over his stark white fur, leaving him looking like a derranged psychotic carnivore. The contrast was startling.

I left him to tend himself unsure what the proper course of action was. They don't cover these things in Rabbits for Dummies. I hopped on the Rabbit Talk board and frantically posted a question about what to do.

Thankfully, it seems this will take care of itself. It needs to stay clean and Duncan needs to stay calm so he doesn't rip it open while it heals. As long as infection doesn't set it, he'll be fine. This morning I went out and he greeted me at the door, his face white again and weight seemed equally distributed between front paws. Breath I didn't know I held was released in an audible sigh. I'm not going to finish his trim for at least a week while he heals. No out-of-cage exploring for him either.

I could have posted how wonderful the event went yesterday and omitted the part when my rabbit profusely bled all over and scared the hell out of me. I could have made my homesteading experience a vision of a slowly fulfilling dream-life but that's not how I function. The good comes with the bad. My learning seems to thrive on haywire and the unplanned. Yes, I'm skittish like a rabbit in an open meadow with hawks circling above when it comes to expanding my homesteading endeavors. The loss of Flora still has me nervous about those two new does I'm considering. But even with all the problems chalked up to learning, all the bitching and all the heartache my life really is a slowly fulfilling dream.

1 comment:

Kaylala said...

I realllllllllly kinda wanted to see a picture of the deranged carnivore...I think it might have been cute...maybe...