Thor and Fru Fru when they lived in the same pen

 

They sit on either side
of the gate that opens
to the barn
from the outside pen—
he, inside,
she on the outside
with their family.
When the second litter in a month—
another six bunnies—
were born,
we separated Pappa,
putting him in the rabbit village
in the barn
with its web of burrows,
built by previous occupants.
He’s been there, alone,
for a month or so
and it is poignant,
from our perspective,
that they still come to the gate
to be with each other.
Our thought was to move all the males
into the barn
with him,
but we had to wait until they were old enough
for us to tell who is male and who is female.
Yesterday,
Ann and Frank caught all 9 bunnies,
checked them
and put the 3 males in with pappa
and left the 6 females with mamma.
Sad as it is
that Thor and Fru Fru
still seem to want to be together,
we’re not ready
for more offspring.
So separating the sexes
before they get old enough
to make bunnies themselves,
and giving Thor some company
is the best we can do
at the moment.

When Ann went back to the barn
for nighttime feeding,
she discovered one of the teenaged male rabbits
in the alpaca pen!
It had found its way out
of the rabbit village.
When it hopped back home,
we filled in every hole
we could find.
But this morning,
he was hopping around in the barn
again,
hanging out with a cat,
which, at one point,
held its paw on the stilled rabbit’s back.
We found another hole,
and waited until the rabbit
had negotiated its way
past guineas and Silkie chickens
and hopped home.
Then we covered
the hole.
We’ll see if it finds its way
out again.

Because we bring fresh fruit and vegetables
when we enter the rabbit pens,
they come running
and often one or two will allow
us to pet them
as they eat
or as they seemingly wait
for food.
Some take after mom
and are black;
some have taken after pappa
and are black, gray and white;
one takes after someone else
and is a fuzzy white and tan.
Some are fuzzy, like mamma,
and some have her lionhead mane.
Some are sleek like pappa.
They all are an absolute delight.
And they produce lots of great manure—
enough now to share
with friends
starting to compost.
That’s why we brought them here
in the first place.
Little did we know
we’d fall in love.

Fru Fru and some of the family
sharing watermelon rind