Bunny Eden

The north bank of the tiny burn that runs beside our track is home to many rabbits

They chose the sunshine to bask in, after long days of driving rain and blustery wind, and it was a fortuitous time for me as I’d embarked on a quick jaunt down to the bottom to pick up a package. Thought I’d take my camera along to see what delights the bright light might proffer.

They say that if you want to be a photographer, you have to take your camera with you wherever you go. Nowadays, of course, we have smartphones to be our constant witness, but I like the analogue feel of zooming in by turning the lens. I didn’t think I’d decide to feature such a mundane subject as the rabbit warren, but on the other hand, it must be the case that the numerous lagomorph families across the burn are enjoying their own idyllic existence. The fellside must be nearly hollow with their burrows!

I seem to have had a lifelong association with rabbits, sometimes a solitary white Flopsy bouncing around a suburban garden under the apple trees, other times animal husbandry duties with a pair of Angoras from whom we harvested soft fluff for spinning. We never managed to make a rabbit a house-trained pet, though a casual trawl through facebook reveals many households that do just that. These days we’re just bemused as the wild ones run rampant over the fields.

The farmer lets a townie friend visit occasionally for a spot of rabbit hunting on these fields surrounding us. In terms of population control, his sport doesn’t seem to make much difference. With so many rabbits bounding around the place, we’ve had some challenges keeping our garden safe from their munching. I’ve often felt like Mr MacGregor chasing Peter, and then repairing some loose gate slat or gap in the fence.

Mostly we just live and let them live. It’s a shared idyll up here, after all, and the ongoing joy of life infects us all, whether we’re sentient, or just enjoying a moment in the warm sun after some nasty weather.

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