It’s a while since I did a post but I had a story I wanted to share. It is all about setting out to catch a rabbit and ending up with a squirrel! Okay so I need to explain this a bit.
We had lots of older children staying on the farm over half term which was great for me as they were more my age and had the freedom to explore the farm without their parents. They had a great time and are coming back again next year. Anyway while they were here there were a few problems. First of all one evening someone called 999 from our red phone box and the police came over. It wasn’t any of us and Dad was very cross, he had stern words with everyone on the tractor ride the next morning. I must say me and my brothers were rather disappointed with the police car, it was very ordinary looking inside but the police man had a taser which was pretty awesome and exciting. Anyway, that was only one incident, the other one was that Dad bought a new rabbit. The children playing up at the rabbits thought it was being bullied by the others and decided to let it out. Dad thinks it was actually the boy rabbit doing….well you know, what boy rabbits do to girl rabbits, but it was all too late the rabbit was out. We managed to catch it again and made a home for it in Dad’s shed as it had to be separated from the others in case of myxomatosis; this is a nasty disease wild rabbits can catch. We looked up the incubation period and saw that if we kept the rabbit separate for 7 days and there were no signs of sight loss and confusion she could return. However she escaped from Dad’s shed!
Dad made a trap which he set near the lake where she had gone and we all tried to catch her with a fishing net too but failed!
Not a total fail though as we caught a squirrel in our trap. I took it back to the house and Dad wanted to shoot it as there are so many on the farm and they eat all the animals’ food. It looked so pretty and harmless though Mum warned us not to get our fingers near or it would bite. Jed wanted to keep it as a pet but Mum was having none of it but we did agree to take it up to the woods behind our house and let it free before Dad came back with his gun!
Up through the pony field to our camp in the woods we went. We opened the trap door and he darted out quicker than anything. I think he had a lucky escape, Jed was still cross Mum wouldn’t let us keep him, but we were soon distracted by remaking our tree swing while we were there.
The rabbit was loose on the farm for over a week and managed to dodge the fox and all our attempts to catch her with a fishing net. She would peep out at us each day near the lake but run away so fast when we came too close.
Finally our missing rabbit fell for Dad’s trap with tempting food inside and was rescued on the morning tractor ride. She went back in Dad’s shed in a stronger house made from an old wooden cot dong her 7 days all over again. We were delighted to have her back and popped some fresh grass in whenever we passed.
Sadly on day 6 she died. Mum says it was probably all the stress of being moved, escaping being captured again, Dad thinks she probably caught something nasty while she was out. I’m not sure which is right but I will be making sure none of my friends are tempted to let any of the rabbits out over the summer holidays which are nearly here now. Rest in peace little baby rabbit, I will miss you.
I hope our squirrel has found himself a new home up in the woods and hasn’t been frightened by his capture too.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.