I decided I’d go outside and plant my annuals and a few herbs in between the raindrops. I finished with the begonias and carried my herbs over to the small raised garden in the corner of the yard. As I approached, I noticed a commotion at my feet. A poor little cottontail rabbit—maybe just a couple months old—was flailing frantically on the ground, terrified at my approach. The poor thing couldn’t push itself upright—I think maybe its legs were broken—and so it just rolled and tumbled rapidly trying to flee. It tired quickly and laid still…panting…terrified at my proximity.
OMYGOD! The poor rabbit. I had to do something….if I hadn’t, it could have continued like that for maybe hours. I went inside to consult Brenda…asked her if I should drown it in a bucket. She suggested the shovel…and calling the neighbor. I didn’t want to trouble the neighbor. The shovel entered my mind on my way into the house—but I dismissed it, not an option. How would I hit it? The sharp way? Break it’s neck? Cut it’s head off?! Or the flat way? I called my parents on their cell as they’re headed out of town—my dad has a knack for killing things. Asked them how they thought I should proceed. Two votes for the shovel. A broad-side blow would do the job.
So I went out to the shed. My mind went blank, couldn’t remember the combination for the padlock. Had to go back inside to check where I had hidden the digits. I slowly entered the comb—the disk spinning coarsely against the corroded metal. The door, swollen with the moisture of the rain, required a tug before it relented and swung shakily open. I reached for the shovel…it looked small and I wondered if I could do it, but as I lifted it, I felt the heft of the implement in my hands and I knew it would require little momentum to complete the task at hand…it was my aim I had to worry about.
I looked across the yard to where I left the rabbit. Even at that distance, I could see he had commenced flopping again. I had to do this. I couldn’t let him continue like that. I walked across the yard. I took a few test swings. Good God, I didn’t want to miss. I told myself “Don’t miss, don’t miss, don’t miss…” as I raised the weight of the shovel over my head and brought it down with all the force I could muster. BAM! I missed. Hit the stupid landscaping log of the raised garden. I terrified the poor rabbit, again. I swung, again and again….I hit him three times, I think. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped. In the end, his scull was visibly crushed and his eyeball protruding.
I scooped him up with my instrument of death and put him in a paper bag…that I suppose I’ll put out to the road with next week’s garbage.
Sobbing, I finished planting my herbs in the rain. Dear lord, I’m just not cut out for killing bunnies.