Sleet, Sheep, and a Pet Bunny

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Finally! At long last it’s COLD outside! I’ve been out there a couple of times today to thaw waterers and make sure everyone has enough bedding, and I’m glad to be settled in with my Boy for the rest of the day while we wait for his daddy to get home. We had sleet off and on all morning, and it’s not even gotten up to freezing. In spite of the fact that I have to do chores in the cold, you have no idea how happy this makes me. We need a lot more days like this before spring.

We’ve had so much warm weather lately, and every time I see someone else rejoicing about being able to wear t-shirts and flip-flops in January, all I can think about is our bizarre winter last year and how it threw off the rhythm of all the other seasons. I think a good, cold winter (and seriously, we’re talking about South Carolina here, not the Arctic, people) feels like hitting a “reset” button. It makes everything feel clean and helps me tolerate and even be grateful for the warmer seasons. So come on, y’all, let’s break out the warm layers and enjoy the cold!

Well, both of our rabbit does kindled within 24 hours of each other a couple of weeks ago. The younger girl has six little ones — three white, two grey/brown, and one black. The older one only has three, but they’re at least twice and possibly three times the size of the others! Chubby little things. The other day, I even caught one of them out of the nest box, hopping around the cage behind its mama. Usually they don’t venture out for at least three weeks or so!

The Boy is having a little trouble with the idea of eating the bunnies, though. He keeps insisting that we don’t eat animals (because they have faces and make noises), and we’re trying to explain to him that the bacon, steak, and chicken that he loves so much all come from animals. On Wednesday, though, we went and got him a pet rabbit — a six-week-old sandy Flemish Giant that should end up between fifteen and twenty pounds and will definitely not look like one of the meat rabbits.

We got her from a lady with a really cute little hobby farm. The Boy got to hang out with turkeys, feed sheep, and pet guinea pigs as well as visit with all the rabbits. Just before we left, he decided he wanted to hug the sheep goodbye, and he did manage to hug the lead ewe, but then he started chasing the rest of the flock, who weren’t used to seeing little people and ran away from him. This made the alpha ewe decide he was a threat to her family, and Ben and I both could see what was going to happen next, but we were too far away to reach him. Fortunately, she was only standing about two feet from The Boy, so when she lowered her head and butted him, she didn’t have a running start or much force behind it. She didn’t frighten him or knock him down, just pushed him off balance. Ben and I both were laughing, but I’m pretty sure the lady who owned the place was having visions of lawsuits, because she couldn’t apologize enough. Isn’t it sad that something as funny and harmless as a strong nudge from a sheep immediately conjures up issues of liability and blame?

Anyway, the sweet new bunny is named Charlotte. At first, The Boy said he wanted to call her Ice Cream, then Vanilla, and then Charlie. Ben suggested Charlotte as a more feminine option, and The Boy liked it. If I’d been naming her, I think I would have called her Truffles, because she’s two shades of brown: a dark chocolate color down near her skin with a lighter, cocoa-powder brown at the tip of each hair like she’s been rolled in it. But she belongs to my Boy, and her name is Charlotte.

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