"It's Flopsy!" I heard someone say, with anguish. I thought her dead, or worse.
I ran out with towels, and dread. Geoff carried her into the light. Still breathing. Heart pumping. I did not want to know. I did not want to have to make the decision to give her mercy. This was too familiar.
Upstairs, through open windows, I could hear Maria crying. She's become practical... some call it "mature," about these kind of events... injuries, the death of pets, but this is her Flopsy bunny, and roused from sleep this way, I knew she was in her own distress. I brought Flopsy into the room, and I sang to Maria and her bunny.
"She's alive?" It was a statement, as much as an inquiry, and I was trying to assure Maria, and myself, "Yes. She's alive."
I put Maria's hand on Flopsy's body, so she could feel the bunny's pounding heart, her frantic breath. "We have to help her feel safe again. We need to make her heart beat gently."
Maria sang with me, we stroked Flopsy's back, slowly, lightly. Around her eye is a severe laceration. She was muddy. She'd been either dragged or chased around the garden.
The bleeding stopped. We found no other wounds than the one around her left eye. The eye itself appears intact, but the injury is something like a ripped upper eyelid. Still, my biggest concern was her heart giving out. As I pet her, I gently felt along her spine... bunnies very easily break their backs. She stepped forward, she stretched out. Her breathing slowed. Maria noted her improvement, her calming. We agreed this was good.
"Maria, it's good that she is feeling safer, and her heart isn't beating too fast..." and my thoughts trailed. Maria wanted to feel safe, too, "Will she live?" After midnight, with a dear pet in your arms, you want to make promises, and deliver hope, but I could not muster false hope. I reasoned with Maria, "If she can live through the night, it will be a good sign, and we can get her more help. But. If she is hurting too much, if her body wants to let go, then we will know that it's what is best for her. We'll know she needed to die." Maria understood.
Flopsy drank water. William brought a box, lined it with paper. I brought up sweet timothy hay, and we set Flopsy in the box, on our bed. She sniffed, stepped around, then drank more water. We were careful to approach her from the right, otherwise she startled.
Geoff stayed in the barn, alert to any more visits from the raccoon. Alex patrolled until dawn. Maria was sure she would never fall asleep. I read aloud, The Flame Trees of Thika. Maria said she couldn't sleep because she was thinking about Flopsy, that the story distracted her. I explained that the distraction was good. I knew the long descriptions, and slow reading would lull her back into sleep. Flopsy was in her box at the foot of the bed. An owl hooted until sunlight.
And now, Flopsy is in her box at my feet. She is eating a carrot. There is a veterinarian appointment for her, and Maria is sorry to miss it. Max, thankfully, slept though all of the excitement, and only this morning was brought up to speed. He gently examined Flopsy, and kindly expressed his concern for her. It will be a long day... for worry, for lack of sleep. And once again, we are faced with rethinking our farm security. Coyotes, bobcats, skunks, hawks, and raccoons... we've had unwelcome visits by each of these, and we should assume any of these will call again.
Flopsy is not out of the woods. I think she'll need antibiotics, at the very least. She'll have no end of affection, and tenderness. Is there more to say? I only sigh, and wish...