Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Moving of the Cave

Freckles:

I found the perfect place inside the cave to start digging my burrow. The best way to break up the earth for such a venture is to scrape as rapidly as possible. You have to put everything you’ve got into it in order to get a good start on the project. The momentum that builds from the outburst of energy right at the beginning makes the ground much easier to excavate. I didn’t know the properties of this strange dirt, but I assumed the concept would be much the same. I took a deep breath and started to scratch.

I hadn’t scratched very long when I heard the high-pitched one shout. Its voice sounded lower, so I stopped to listen. When I didn’t hear anything else, I continued to dig. A little of my momentum was gone, but I could still build the energy. This ground was not giving way.

Soon I saw the high-pitched one peering into the cave. It shouted again, this time I heard a sound I had been hearing a lot from Nice Guy -- sounded like “Firks.” I paused and waited to hear it again. There, it said it once more! Doesn’t it know that it doesn’t do any good to shout at me? I don’t know what its saying!

All at once the entire cave moved!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Freckles Digs In

Deb:

Using my mother voice, I said, “NO!” I listened. The scratching stopped for a moment, and then the sound resumed.

I dropped to my hands and knees and peeked under the couch. “Stop it, Freckles!” I commanded, hoping I sounded like I meant business this time. She did stop and stared directly into my eyes. She immediately went back to her work digging in the carpet.

After a couple more attempts to tell her to stop, which gained the same reactions as before -- stopping and then continuing, I stood and pulled the sofa away from the wall. Of course, I had to move the ten-ton coffee table first, so by the time I had the couch moved, I was already huffing and puffing.

Freckles sprinted to the other end of the couch.

Friday, September 28, 2007

It's Burrow Time!

Freckles:
It was great to have so much room to roam. I loved the large cave in the Other World. From its safety I could keep track of the comings and goings of the members of my new tribe. I also found the furry ground in the Other World to be of a different texture than in my Home Place. Maybe I could dig a burrow here; I thought I might try. I searched the cave for the perfect location.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Blogging For Hope

We interrupt our regular story to share an important message about fighting animal abuse. Today, Thursday, September 27 is a day for bloggers to unite and blog for hope that an end to abuse is near. And not just animal abuse -- all forms of abuse, physical and emotional, of humans as well as animals.

What can we do? For more information about things you can do to help, please visit the website of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals http://www.aspca.org/


"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." -Mahatama Gandhi

Freckles & Deb



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Trouble in Paradise

Deb:

Freckles seemed to love the living room, especially her special hiding place under the couch. She would remain there for hours at a time. One day I was sitting on the couch watching television, and I heard a noise beneath me. It took only a moment for recognition of the sound to sink in -- Freckles was scratching with persistence and ferocity at a spot in the brown carpet. Had she been digging at other times, but I hadn’t heard her? Has she been destroying the carpet underneath the couch without my knowledge?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Granting Entrance to the Other World

Freckles:
Every morning the high-voiced one would open the portal and grant me entrance to the Other World. There was a strange ritual I had to perform before being allowed passage through the opening. The high-voiced one would lean over with its finger out, and I would stand in front of it as it touched my nose. After the sacred sign was given, I would scurry as fast as I could through the portal and into the Other World. The freedom of the sprint energized me to such an extent that I practiced my leaps and high jumps. I'd found that there wasn’t enough room in my Home Place to complete some of my more complicated maneuvers, so this was a welcome work out. You have to keep in shape in case you need to escape an enemy.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Morning Ritual

Deb:

Freckles became a frequent visitor to the living room. I would open her door in the morning and she would hop over to greet me. Frequently, she would hear me coming and be waiting. Sometimes when I put my finger down to her, she would allow me to pet her nose. No place else on her body -- just her nose. As soon as I moved, she’d shoot through the doorway and into the living room, leaping and jumping in her morning exercise. This ritual seemed to bond us and build trust. I felt as though she was beginning to like me!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A New Sanctuary

Freckles:

My tummy was full so I decided to examine the rest of the clearing. I checked out a number of interesting trees and hills. I came to an unusual pile of objects that gave a little when I nosed them. I tried nibbling the edges of them. They tasted good. Nice Guy leaned over me and I thought he was going to pick me up and stroke my back, but he set me down facing away from the yummy objects. At first I was a bit upset that my nibbles had been interrupted so abruptly, however, I spied a new wide cave and dived through its opening. It was, just as I’d hoped, another dry, dark space for me to hide and rest.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Testing the Limits

Deb:

After Freckles had eaten most of the treats on the plate, she ventured further into the room and checked out the furniture. She started nibbling on the edges of the magazines that were stacked on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. Whoops, guess we forgot to rabbit proof everything. When my son shifted her body to face in another direction, she scooted under the couch and stayed there. We weren’t sure whether she felt safer in its closer confines, or if she was pouting because she didn’t get her way.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sweet Stuff

Freckles:

I could see Nice Guy, Big Guy, and the high-voiced one standing off to the side. They appeared to be waiting for something. I looked around to see if I could figure out what intrigued them so. I smelled it before I saw it. My nose picked up the scent of sweet stuff, one of my favorites. It has an unusual texture, but the flavor is devine. I jumped to its location beside an oddly-shaped tree, and did a little happy dance before I started eating. Ahhh! The heavenly taste of sweet stuff. This was a good, good place.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chew - Wiggle - Chew - Wiggle

Deb:

I’d set a plate of treats on the floor beside the wooden rocking chair to give Freckles something to discover in the new territory that would thrill her. She looked at the three of us with those huge dark eyes and stared (or was it a glare -- hard to tell on a bunny) at us. Ears and nose explored the air as she sat, and it didn’t take her long to locate the treats. She attacked the contents of the plate with glee.

We have delighted in watching Freckles eat. She has two distinct nibbling styles. When she’s consuming a food, such as alfalfa pellets, that's part of her normal diet, she gnaws at her normal bunny speed with a steady rhythm. Gnaw, gnaw, gnaw, take another pellet, gnaw, gnaw, gnaw, take another pellet. However, when she discovers that the food is something she really loves -- carrots, dandelions, or pieces of banana -- she often jumps, performing a twist in the air, and her little rear end gets into the action as she chews with the velocity of a cheetah. Her mouth never leaves the object. Chew-wiggle-chew-wiggle-chew-wiggle-chew. How her mouth bone is connected to her posterior bone making her back end wiggle when she eats is quite a mystery.
video

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Road Taken...But Where?

Freckles:

I took a chance that the high-voiced one hadn’t set a trap for me. I couldn’t see much when I stuck my head through the entrance and peeked around the corner, so I plunged through the portal and landed without a sound on the other side. I looked back and could still see my clearing behind me. I was fairly sure I could get back to my large wide cave as long as the portal didn’t close.

Checking out the area was my first order of business. I didn’t hear anything to alarm me and the smells were about the same as my clearing. Except...I could barely get a whiff of something different coming from the end of the long tunnel. It wasn’t anything I recognized as a bad smell, and I decided to take a risk. I hopped slowly down the path. The trees were so thick on each side of me that they reminded me of a solid wall. But, I'd never seen a green wall before! The trip was a long one, but finally, I saw another open space ahead. I sped up and pounced on a spot in the middle of a new clearing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Brave New World


Deb:

Freckles waited a long time before she ventured through the bedroom door. She hopped over the threshold and stopped, surveying the hallway with suspicion. Her ears turned forward and sideways, her nose wiggled, and finally, after at least five minutes, she journeyed down the hall. Her hops were small and tentative at first, but as she gained confidence, she increased speed. She shot like a bullet to the middle of the living room floor, skidded to a stop, and carefully assessed her surroundings.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Temptation

Freckles:

One day the thing with the high voice forgot to close the opening through which everyone visited. I was sure that it would remember the mistake and return to close it, so I reclined inside the large wide cave and watched. But, to my great surprise, it remained open.

Was this a trap? If I hopped through the portal would I be captured once again and taken to a new place -- maybe a place I wouldn’t enjoy? Where were Nice Guy and Big Guy? I was pretty sure that they wouldn’t trick me. I didn’t know if I could trust that high-voiced one. Yet, the opening stayed open, and my curiosity got the best of me. A little look couldn’t hurt. Could it?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Traveling the Long Road

Deb:

After a week, we decided that we should expand Freckles’ world. We opened the door to the spare room and closed all other bedroom doors. She would have to travel the long hallway to reach the wide open spaces of the living room. Would she stay where it was safe? Would she venture out into the bigger world? We had no way of telling her she could return to her sanctuary anytime she wanted. We stood back to see what happened.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nice Guy & Big Guy


Freckles:

My new home had great ambiance. I began to feel like I’d always lived there! It supplied me with everything I needed -- the small cave for the necessities of life and the large wide cave for resting and contemplation.

Nice Guy visited me often. It would talk; I’d listen. It brought me great food: lots of orange sticks, green pebbles, leaves, grass, and sweet treats. Another thing visited me as well. It was big like Nice Guy and had a low-toned voice too, so I called it Big Guy. It brought me some of the soft pointy leaves with yellow flowers I’d so enjoyed before my capture. Those yellow flowers tasted sweet and delectable. The pointy leaves had a smidgen of bitterness that complemented the tasty flowers.

And, of course, the thing with the high voice visited me. It bribed me with orange sticks and sweet treats. I’d sniff them to be polite, but I wouldn’t eat them until it left. I was still in control!

Friday, September 14, 2007

How do you make friends with a rabbit?

Deb:

For the first few days we kept the door closed when we weren’t in the room with Freckles. We wanted her to have a chance to acclimate to her new home before opening up the rest of the house for her investigation. She liked my son and my husband and would take food from their hands. When I held out a carrot or fruit treat, she would sniff at it, but refuse the offer. I’d place it in her cage and notice later that it was gone. Evidently, Freckles liked the guys!

A few years back we had a parakeet named Peeper who loved my husband more than me. Peeper thought I was okay. I'd been the one to teach him a few words, and he would saunter over to the side of the cage when I came near and listen for me to talk. In comparison, the second he heard my husband's car pull into the driveway he would hop from perch to perch and make the loudest noises possible (screeching, ringing his bell, and slamming his toys against the sides of the cage) until my husband came over to talk to him. Peeper would run to the side of the cage and rub his beak on the bars as my husband petted the top of his little blue head.

On the other hand, Nicky, the little lost dog who found his way to our home on Christmas Eve one year and stayed like a special present, developed a fondness for me. He had followed me everywhere -- even to the bathroom, where he would wait patiently outside the door until I emerged and then greet me as though I had been gone for days.

So, I understood pets liking one person in a family over another. Freckles dislike of me hurt my feelings, however, and I increased my determination to win her over!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The After Time

Freckles:

What a fascinating place this turned out to be! I hopped from tree to boulder (at least that’s what they seemed to be, although they were unlike anything I felt that I had experienced before.) As I nibbled and poked my way through the clearing, I recognized wood, but not from any tree I knew. Between the furry grass on the ground and the oddly shaped objects surrounding the clearing, I knew I must have landed in a fantasy world.

I discovered a large, wide cave and scooted inside. Here I rested and contemplated the marvels I had seen. None of these surroundings seemed familiar. I didn’t exactly feel lonely, because I didn’t remember anything from where I came, so had nothing to miss. I did wonder if that place from the Before Time had been like this place in what I will call the After Time. Very curious. I shall have to think about all of this a bit more.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Going where no bunny has gone before

Deb:

My son, my husband, and I withdrew as far as the hallway. We wanted Freckles to have the opportunity to explore her new space without the fear that we would swoop down and harm her. However, we also were curious about her reactions to the new wonders that awaited her.

She cautiously hopped around the room, sniffing the furniture, giving each piece a little exploration nibble and poke. Finally, she scampered under the bed and remained there for the rest of the evening, only coming out a couple of times to use her cage as a litter box and drink some water from her water bottle.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Freckles Takes a Chance


Freckles:

I didn’t take the orange stick the high-voiced one offered. I was hungry and wanted it, make no mistake about that! But, I thought it important to establish right from the start that I was in charge of myself. If I stayed here, I’d be calling the shots. I’d eat what I want, when I want.

The thing with the high voice left the cave entrance open. I hopped forward and stuck my head through the gap, exploring the curious environment with all of my senses. It seemed safe enough. I took a chance and jumped onto the ground outside the cave. I’d expected chewy grass or burrowing dirt but found a strange furry softness instead. Interesting! I nosed it and tried a nibble. YUK! It was less than tasty! As I ventured forth, I wondered what else awaited me.

Monday, September 10, 2007

How it all began...The offer of freedom

Deb:

Freckles’ coloring definitely matched her name. She was snow white with freckles of black spots and dark smudges over her back and head. Her black ears and little white nose twitched constantly, filtering the newness surrounding her. She sniffed at the carrot I offered but did not take it. I placed it beside the bowl of alfalfa pellets and withdrew, leaving the cage door open to allow her to explore when she was ready.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

How it all began...Nice Guy Comes Through

Freckles:

After Nice Guy rescued me from that big cavern, it held me for a long time and stroked my back. Then, it placed me in a new small cave. It spoke to me as we traveled. I listened, but didn't understand. I just liked hearing the sound of its voice.

I could smell all kinds of new odors at the new cave, but no other animals. There was a strong scent of green pebbles and leaves. The door to my cage opened and another thing with a high-pitched voice spoke to me. Oh, no! I’d traded one high-pitched thing for another one. Would they never go away? It placed a container in the cage and held an orange stick in its paw. Nice Guy, green pebbles, leaves, and orange sticks -- I might survive here despite the high-pitched one.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

How it all began...Home at last!

Deb:
Freckles arrived within the hour. She huddled in a ball in the corner of her cage. Her nose twitched in a rapid blur, as it explored the perplexing smells of her new habitat. Her ears shifted direction at each sound intruding into her air space. I’m sure she must have been frightened by the ride home and the strange surroundings. I opened her cage door, set down a bowl of alfalfa pellets, and, speaking in my most soothing voice, held out a carrot.

Friday, September 7, 2007

How it all began...Nice Guy Appears

Freckles:

One day Nice Guy showed up. I noticed it looking in all the little caves. When it reached mine, it stopped. It stared at me for a moment and then talked to me. I don’t know what it said, but its voice had a pleasant low tone. I took a chance and hopped over to the door. Nice Guy put its finger through the sticks and petted my nose. Nice! I closed my eyes and wished it would pet my nose forever. But, it stopped and walked away. I huddled back in my corner. I could hear Nice Guy speaking to the thing with the high voice for a long time. I kept my right ear pointed in their direction.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

How it all began…Making a home for Freckles

Deb:

Where in the world was I going to put a rabbit? I knew I didn’t want her to stay in her cage all day long. Rabbits need freedom. They're curious animals and thrive when given the opportunity to explore. (Cats are known for their curiosity, but I think rabbits beat them hands down for sticking their noses where they don't belong -- bunnies just haven't gotten the same media hype!)

I decided I could clear out the spare bedroom and make space for her cage there. I’d need to do some rabbit proofing. Bunnies like to chew; it keeps their teeth ground down. I remembered several years ago when a black dwarf rabbit named Clyde came to live with us. We had to make sure all of the electrical cords were high enough so that he couldn’t reach them. Clyde’s small size made that job easy. Freckles was a full-grown rabbit. She’d be able to stretch much higher.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

How it all began...The Caves

Freckles:

The cave I crouched in rumbled and grumbled, shaking my teeth. When the racket stopped, the high-voiced thing carried me into a giant cavern and placed my little cave on a ledge. The smells overwhelmed my nose in this place. I got whiffs of barking things, meowing things, other bunnies, and even flying things! I huddled in the corner, hoping none of the other creatures would discover that I had arrived.

The high-voiced thing brought me food -- orange sticks and green pebbles! Maybe life wouldn’t be so bad here, if that thing would just be quiet.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007

How it all began...Captured!

Freckles:

A giant paw scooped me up before I could reach the cave in the side of the building. I hated the feel of paws clutching me, restricting my movement. What I hated even more was the tiny cave the paws thrust me into. It had skinny unchewable, sticks crisscrossing the opening, blocking my escape.

Then, there was the voice -- a high-pitched voice that offended my ears. I don’t know what it said, but it was obviously gloating about my capture. What will happen to me?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

How it all began...Deb Considers

Deb:

Having a bunny for a pet was not on my “To Do” list that sizzling July day. When my son called to tell me about the white and black speckled rabbit needing rescue at the local humane society, the idea embraced my thoughts and refused to let go. Her name was Freckles, a full-grown house rabbit who would find contentment resting in her cage or scampering loose in exploration of the house. I envisioned a soft bundle of fur curled patiently in my lap nibbling carrots as I stroked her back. This could be the start of a wonderful relationship.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Picture of Freckles


Here is a picture of me.
You can see how I got my name!

How it all began...Lost

Freckles:
I hopped through the hard gray streets searching for some orange sticks or green pebbles. I sniffed at soft pointy leaves with yellow flowers that peeked from a crack in the surface and nibbled cautiously. YUM! I yanked a leaf from the bunch and chewed, grinding the leaves rapidly between my teeth. The yellow flowers tasted delicious and the soreness in my tummy eased. However, I had no idea where I was or how I got here.

How far back can I remember? I recall lost and I recall hungry. But, whatever existence I inhabited in the Before Time had vanished from my mind. Where I came from remained as big a mystery as where I was going.

I continued to hunt for shelter -- some alcove or crevice to snuggle into for the night. I spotted the perfect place, a small cave in the side of a building, and quickened my pace. That's when it happened...