Tag Archives: daffodils

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

1 Mar

In the UK, if your first words on the first day of a month are “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit”, you will have good luck for the rest of the month. The first day of March is especially rabbity for me, because it is Harvey the Rabbit’s birthday. That is to say, when we adopted his playful self from the unwanted pets place, nobody could tell us his real birthday, and so I chose today to be it.

I picked Saint David’s Day for him because he liked Daffodils. Saint David is the patron saint of Wales, where I was born, and it is celebrated by the wearing of a daffodil on one’s lapel.

Now daffodils are pushing up through the soil on Harvey’s grave, and I am spending today thinking about his enormous personality. A friend once called him a “bounder”, and that’s exactly what he was: the most opinionated pet I ever had. One day he threw a tantrum because I had put his litter tray back the wrong way round. He liked to chase balls, and he loved to chase cats. He slept with me on the bed at night, until one night he took umbrage at the fact that Bunty was taking up too much room, and so peed on his head. He took great delight in climbing impossible things, and bouncing on the inflatable airbed. He ate daffodils.

This whole blog is dedicated to Harvey. I began it a few weeks after he was run over on the road outside our cottage.  It was a way to remind myself of the many great things in my life, and of how breathtaking is the place where I have made my home. I no longer need reminding of these things, but thanks to my love for Harvey, I have come to enjoy this excuse to look around at my world and feel awed.

Summer view from our front door

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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.