So this morning, we woke up to a smattering of white, on the way to school at the whitest part of the road was a rabbit, sat in the middle of the road cleaning its face.
It didn’t move as we approached so I got out to shoo it to safely already dreading what condition I might find it in. Pheasants hanging out in the road and jumping in front of cars are the norm but usually if we are driving all we see of a rabbit is its white tail as it runs away or baby bunnies nibbling grass at the side of the road in spring. I had to act quickly as I was stopped on snow and another car might come at any minute, I didn’t want to cause heavy breaking. At first it looked ok, but then I saw the eyes, it hopped a bit when I got really close but not enough that I couldn’t scoop it up and put it in the hedge. That was my instinctive gut reaction, get it out of the road, save life.
I’m struggling now with guilt, it obviously had myxomatosis, it would have been kinder to put it out of it misery. Most people would have driven over it but I couldn’t bring myself to do it, what if I hurt it further and didn’t kill it. My youngest was in the car watching it all….I like to think I would have rung its neck if I knew how, put it to sleep quickly. However, when we were small one of the lads at school tried to do it in a similar case and wasn’t strong enough….. not good. The trauma of living in the countryside.
I’ve made my choice rightly or wrongly with no idea really of what has happened next to that snow bunny. Isn’t that like so much in life, just because we can intervene should we…. each situation is different, we cannot see the future and perhaps we should not be quick to judge another’s choices. We each have a unique catalogue of previous experiences and knowledge which combine to make our personal rose tinted spectacles (or even rose sprinted testicles as a friend once accidentally proclaimed). Most of the time we don’t even realise we are wearing them.
I’ve written this down as a way of dealing with how I’m feeling, but also to give balance to the rural idyll, life in the countryside is not all rosy and beautiful. #lerrynschoolrun is stunning most days and a real privilege but it does involve dodging pheasants, stopping for sheep, tractors and tree cutting, potholes, floods and mud. I wouldn’t change it, its my life and I love it but I really want to share some of the yucky realities as well as the stunning beauty.