Thursday, August 27, 2009

On the Futility of Heroism

Sad news about Dandelion. We set our adolescent rabbit free as she was large enough to defend herself against cat attack and was about to be renamed Houdini for all her attempts to escape her cage.

I didn't see her for a little over a week, but sadly this morning I found her body in the middle of the sidewalk. She'd clearly been hit by a car and very recently, her body was still limp and warm. (Silver lining - at least the cat didn't get her, they hunt at night and hide their victims). I knew it was Dandelion because she had a unique white stripe on her face and a red ruff behind her ears.

I cried a lot and buried her under the ferns she found fascinating when I first set her free in our back yard.
My tears weren't only about Dandelion. When I stopped the cat from killing her a month ago, I felt like I'd done something important, like a hero. Now I feel like a fool. A fool for thinking I'd made a difference in the baby bunny's life, a fool for feeling so much grief that she's dead, for being full of hope that I'd see her with her own brood of kits in our back yard next spring.

Will I try to save baby rabbits from cats in the future? Yes, I think so. I can't bear the way cats toy with them. But the experience will be less sweet and lacking hope, more bitter and shadowed by ambivalence.


  1. Oh, sad. Poor little thing. I have a particular affinity for baby bunnies, having accidentally captured three in my youth, and then accidentally stepped on one in my backyard and breaking its leg.

    You certainly did a good, not-at-all-foolish thing to try.

  2. At least the bunny - & you - had the joy of each other's company for a little while. Very sad that it didn't have a longer life, but I don't think your heroics were wasted!