After a weekend of snow filled fun, we woke up last Monday morning to find one of our rabbits had died.
Turns out it was Wren's rabbit, Flop, and when I told her, to my utter surprise, she burst into tears and ran off. I don't know why I was so surprised by her outpouring of grief, I guess I didn't expect her to be so in touch with her feelings. Jenson on the other hand didn't show any emotion, although his actions said different.
First of all, after I brought the other rabbit inside, he went and got her a carrot and laid his coat over her to keep her warm. Next he found one of my old shoe boxes and made it into a cosy bed. He laid it with hay and put a bowl of food and water inside for her.
He then labelled it using fridge magnets usually reserved for my cake smash studio shoots. I was impressed with his ability to pick out the right letters and construct words from them.
A little while later he disappeared into his bedroom and after just five minutes returned holding a LEGO rabbit. It's a complicated thing but he knocked it up like it was nothing. He told me it was a sister for his bunny because he thought she might be lonely. His sensitivity left me astounded almost as much as his problem solving. I think he made three or four changes to the original design the result of which meant better functioning legs and consequently a more rabbit shaped body.
Wren was inspired seeing her brother so engaged in looking after our soul remaining rabbit that she too wanted to make a bed but for her bunny. It was very touching and a good way for her to say goodbye.
She was very methodic as she went about the activity. Poor bunny was so cold and frozen that it wouldn't fit in a shoe box so Wren ran off to her bedroom and two minutes later returned with one of her toy suitcases. She quickly tipped out the toys from it and began to line it with a soft bed of hay. I fetched the bunny and, with rather more force than I would have liked, squeezed it in. The rabbit was so cold that Wren wanted to wear gloves when she stroked it. She carried on stroking its matted fur for a good five minutes. I was so taken aback by her sensitivity and her ability to process her grief.
She too used fridge magnetics to spell out her rabbit's name before wrapping it up in Christmas paper.
She wrote a label for Father Christmas and I was impressed with how well she was able to form random letters.
I asked her if she would like some help to write down what she was trying to say. The message below is what she said.
Wren then put bunny under the Christmas tree and it has stayed there all week so upset was she at being separated from it. Grief is a complex process so for Wren to be able to feel the emotions connected to it shows great maturity. It has been a bit odd having a dead rabbit under the tree and I only removed it this morning after I noticed liquid seeping out. Bunny is now in the greenhouse with the dead pigeon we found a few months ago and as Jenson says, they can be dead friends together. We want to examine their skeletons once their bodies have decomposed, something Wren wasn't keen on doing when it was suggested to her!
Jenson's rabbit is now currently living in the house. We went and bought an indoor run for her and new bottle and bowl. She is feeling very loved and we hope she isn't missing her sister too much. The children are really enjoying climbing into her cage and sitting with her. They help me pick up the poo and give her food and fresh water. They have made her little rabbit pictures, which they cut out and stuck to the sides of her cage, again, so she wouldn't feel lonely. We are sad to have lost Flop but the care and kindness the children have shown towards loosing her and looking after Flip has left a very positive note.