Our friend Sandy was a peanut-colored, peanut-shaped rabbit. Hailing from Palomino (huge) and Dutch Dwarf (tiny) ancestry, he was a friendly, mild-mannered fellow. If his buddy Ziggy's ears needed grooming, he was the man for the job. When our ankles needed a licking, or our electric cords needed a chewing, he was glad to oblige. When the new kitten wrestled us too aggressively, Sandy would ram her like a furry torpedo. We loved being "saved" by him!
More than anything, he loved to be outdoors. One fine day last week it was 68 degrees. He hopped and wiggled joyously, napped in the shade, grazed in the sun. Nothing could entice him indoors, even after Ziggy retired inside.
As night fell, he evaded our attempts to herd him in. Later, our flashlights caught a fox finishing his cotton-tailed dinner.
Grief-stricken, we had to make a quick decision: chase away the fox so we could bury Sandy's remains near the graves of our other pets, or allow the fox to finish a meal that really mattered after the long, harsh winter.
The stick-thin fox waited nearby, reading our faces.
We chose to say our fond goodbyes to Sandy's hovering spirit, and walk back to the house.
At the end of his most fun day ever, Sandy returned to Rabbitdom in the natural way... by nourishing a neighbor who desperately needed the meal. His rabbit destiny was well fulfilled.
But I'll miss the single-file rabbit parade that hopped daily throughout the house.