A RABBIT’s TALE….stranger than fiction.
In August of 2004 I was in Duke Hospital undergoing the removal of a brain tumor. It was benign, but, because of the location, it was imperative that I have the operation or take the chance of losing my hearing.
I was very positive about the outcome (My neurosurgeon was Allan Friedman, the same Doctor who operted on Senator Ted Kennedy last year !) but I was advised to make all the arrangements anyway in case I didn’t make it. My wishes were simple, a memorial service and the reading of part of “Watership Down”. This is a remarkable tale about a group of rabbits and their quest for life. The main character lives to a ripe old age and the final pages tell of his death.
“He woke to realize that there was a rabbit lying quietly beside him and that his ears were shining with a faint silver light...‘If you’re ready, we might go along now’ said the stranger. They went out...where the sun was shining and it seemed to him that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch...strength and speed flowing out of him and into the sleek young bodies of his rabbits.
‘You needn’t worry about them’, said his companion and ...together they slipped away, running easily down through the wood, where the first primroses were beginning to bloom.”
Now the interesting thing is that my best friend Bonnie was the only person who knew of my desire to have this read if the need arose so it was a great surprise when my daughter told me this:
“After you were taken to the operating room we all settled in for a 5 hour wait. At one point Brian and I went outside for a breath of air and found ourselves in a large area that was being remodeled. It was a type of courtyard with walls on all four sides and no greenery because of the construction. We sat on some cement blocks and drank our coffee.
All of a sudden we were amazed to see a small rabbit come hopping across the tarmac and, although it looked completely out of place, it was not in the least bit shy. It seemed to study us for a few seconds and then it hopped off. ‘How strange is that?’, we said to each other.”
Strange indeed…..stranger than fiction?