In April 2016 we made, despite all objections, the monumental decision to enlarge our family. Whilst we had been happily coasting as a fully functioning family of five and had become attuned to each other’s wants, needs and foibles, it was decided we would numerically expand.
We looked at our options, discussed the impact it would make and restrictions we would now need to consider. Then we bit the bullet and bought two rabbits…we became a family of seven (five humans and two incredibly cute bunnies).
Both rabbits were incredibly cute but very shy. My daughter Freya named them Floppy and Spotty and spent hours singing to them, trying to stroke them, sitting in their specially built run whilst they played, fed them carrots and generally tried to bond.
One of the rabbits, Spotty – who now resembles the large rabbit from the movie Watership Down, responded and although still shy, will let Freya pet her.
The smaller, feistier rabbit Floppy continually treated all who came into contact with her as the enemy. She would attack poor Spotty; we had to separate them, and would hide from all of us.
Floppy proved to be an amazing escape artist, and would escape from any run we placed her in by burrowing under or climbing, yes climbing, over!
Eventually escaping from a run wasn’t a big enough challenge for Floppy and she began to gnaw her way through her wooden hutch and metal grille. Escaping seemed to become an obsession with her as whilst sitting in our living room, which is about forty foot away from her hutch, we could hear her trying to kick her way out!!
We tried to restrain her in a number of creative ways but she bit through them all. After numerous times of chasing her round our garden, getting stung by nettles, missing meetings and being soaked by the rain we decided that the next time she escaped we’d let her go. That as we’d always had reserves about animals being in cages, if she wanted her freedom that much we wouldn’t get in her way (not any more!).
So the next time Floppy escaped we made no attempt to catch her, we watched as she hopped around the garden, we hoped that she would be safe but we let her hop free. Emotionally we said our goodbyes!
The next morning we checked our garden (all the while praying she hadn’t met a nasty end) and saw her sitting outside her hutch. As I have never been able to catch her (she’s fast!!), my husband went out in his pyjamas picked her up and returned her to the soft hay, toys, bowl of food and accessible water that was her home.
We made the decision not to repair the hole she has made which means Floppy can escape again whenever she wants…there is no obstacle in her way.
But the funny thing is since her night of freedom Floppy hasn’t wanted to escape. She pops her head through the hole but that’s as far as she goes. It’s almost as if the challenge has now gone and now she knows she can have it (freedom), she no longer wants it.
I love a saying; a cliché, and this made me think of one of my favourites, ‘the grass is greener on the other side’.
I know there are lots of examples where this can be true and one situation is a better situation than the current one (for example, a healthy relationship versus an abusive one) but as human beings I wonder if we always want what we don’t have?
That in wanting the grass we don’t currently have and perceive to be greener, we are placing personal unhappiness with ourselves onto something outside of us. We rely on polishing our external environment to soothe a deeper internal dissatisfaction.
I’m not trying to psychoanalyse my rabbit (!) but wonder if the cliché should be changed to “Green grass needs maintenance” or “Rainbow is the new green”.
What do you think? What clichés have been key to your life or what sayings would you rephrase to make them more personally applicable?