The Year of the Rabbit

8 Feb

The Year of the Rabbit began on Sunday, but I had been looking forward to it for a long time. How could I not? A whole year, dedicated to my favourite animal. For me, this was the Year of Harvey, the furry love of my life. Harvey, my first waking thought and my happiest of dreams. The animal whose pleasure and comfort came above all else. Who loved me and slept with me and danced for his breakfast, and climbed impossible things and never stopped exploring. He was handsome and quick and clever. Of course there is a year just for him.

On Sunday, I was going to write a New Year’s entry on Harvey. I couldn’t do it. Instead, I sat up half the night and cried because he wasn’t with me, and I’ll never see him again, or caress his fur, or hear his crunchy greeting.

The snowdrops on our lawn started opening on Sunday. Today I took a trowel and transplanted some around the edge of Harvey’s grave. In the centre, I planted the bulbs of some miniature daffodils that last Spring he had spent much time examining. I associate him with daffs because of an Easter photoshoot I did with him. His favourite flower, though, was clover.

As I dug and planted and smoothed out the lumps and clods, I felt as though he was hopping around me in his supervisory way, inspecting everything before and after I planted, as he was wont to do. I envisioned him prinking his ears in pleasure the way he did whenever I added an improvement to one of his hang-outs. He was a very appreciative rabbit. I had expected to grow too upset to finish this job in one sitting, but I found his imaginary presence comforting. And, indeed, he had been named after an imaginary friend.

This year is still about you, sweet rabbit. I’ll plant you clovers in the summer.



11 Responses to “The Year of the Rabbit”

  1. ombledroom February 8, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    so long, Harvey
    it was a pleasure meeting you
    i liked you much better than those cats
    i will remember you

  2. jigmedatse February 9, 2011 at 3:59 am #

    Harvey I miss you, I wish that we achieve enlightenment together.

  3. SEF February 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Do you have any online archive of Harvey photos (eg a flickr set)?

    • Snailquake February 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

      Can you see these without registering?

      • SEF February 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

        FaceBook messes with the URL and tells me to sign up “to connect with Harvey Rabbitte”. I can only see his main avatar and that of a few of his friends, eg Barry White the guinea pig.

        • Snailquake February 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

          It seems that Facebook is as bad at making profiles public as it is at making them private. I might start moving them over to another site.

          Were you wanting to see something in particular, or just curious?

          • Snailquake February 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

            Some of these entries have pics…

          • SEF February 9, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

            I’ve been wanting to see more of Harvey all along. Lately though, I’ve been rather bunny deprived because *they* closed the footpath into town along which I would pass a couple of colonies of rabbits late at night when they tended not to notice me as much of a threat. So I’ve been having to walk the long way round instead, on main roads where the bunnies rarely come out of hiding. Meanwhile, there was also a rabbit artwork competition but I was somewhat lacking a model to work from.

            • Snailquake February 11, 2011 at 1:37 am #

              You’re saying Harvey might be a suitable model for artwork? Nice! I’ll try to dig out some pics tomorrow.

              • SEF February 11, 2011 at 10:41 am #

                I’ve missed the competition deadline now (I never got round to cleaning up and submitting my bunny tessellation) but that doesn’t mean I don’t still want to try sketching Harvey – as a magnificient specimen of rabbithood.

                I try to keep a resource folder of sketches for whenever projects come up which need something but I haven’t really done bunnies (apart from the murderous Sluggy Freelance cartoon character) since midway through primary school.

                • Snailquake February 12, 2011 at 12:15 am #

                  I would love to see a sketch by you of my lovely Harvey, if inspiration siezes you. But as there’s no deadline for this, I’ll put my rather pressing homework first, then stick some pics on Photobucket in due course. As I took about eight grillion and four photos of Harvey, I’ll be having to filter them down a lot!

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