The rabbits seem determined to get to my garden before I do. Before my brother kindly helped me make this cover to keep them away from the veggies, I my frustration posted on Facebook. My friend Elizabeth in Llano Grande replied that I should eat the rabbits.
We did raise and eat rabbit when we lived in Ecuador. My mother even managed to pass it off as chicken salad in a luncheon for some society ladies from Quito.
The Indigenous people kept their rabbits in deep holes in the ground. The rabbits burrowed into the walls of the hole. Kids had the job of pulling weeds and dropping them into the hole to feed the rabbits.
Our rabbits lived in hutches but we kids also had the job of pulling weeds to feed them. When the mother rabbits were ready to have babies, they padded their nests with fur that they pulled from their chests. “My” rabbit gave birth to 10 little babies. It was so exciting to watch them grow. The little hairless babies grew soft, downy fur before their eyes were even open.
One day, I went to feed the rabbit but she was gone. Somehow, she had managed to make a hole in the chicken wire of the hutch. Frantically, I searched for her, only to find her trembling in box behind the outhouse. She must have known she was dying so got away from her babies.
Hot tears streamed down my cheeks as I ran all the way through the woods to the school where my dad was working. Why was she dying and what could I do about it?
As my parents always did, Dad listened to my desperation and tears. Then, he asked, “What are you going to do about it?”
I went home and made a nest in a shoe box for the baby bunnies and kept it beside the wood stove. Several times a day, I filled a doll bottle with milk and fed the babies. And they kept on growing. Only one baby rabbit did not make it. Eventually, they returned to the hutch where I would pull weeks to feed them.