Thursday, September 14, 2006

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 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 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?


Blogger Chancy said...

Ginnie - Beautiful post.
I love the part from "Watership Down". I know we don't need our bodies anymore after we die but it is so difficult to think about.

Stories like this make it easier to bear.


9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I'll be doggone. I just watched that the other night on cable. Even have it recorded on my DVR. Saw it when it first came out and really enjoyed it. Never thought how applicable it might be with regard to your proposed use.

PS....Glad no one had to read it.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Betty said...

When my mother was dying, she was rambling, but one of the things she said was "Now, I understand the song, 'Butterflies are Free'". I didn't think any more about it until, after her funeral, I was sitting at a gas station and a woman came across a busy street to ask me if I'd buy one of her butterfly pins. Of course, I bought one. A sign? I'd like to think so.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the excerpt. I had never heard it before. I think a rabbit is lucky for you! Remember how people used to carry those "lucky rabbit's foots?" What was that about?

I just remembered... The Velveteen Rabbit is one of my all time favorite stories. It's sort of an opposite tale. The rabbit is loved so much that it becomes real!

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great story! Thanks

4:40 PM  
Blogger gawilli said...

“Watership Down” is a great book. I agree that signs are everywhere if we are only open to them. We miss out on many wonderful things if we are not careful to look and listen.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful story!

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm ashamed to admit I've never read Watership Down....but I've added it to my list, because I've heard how incredible the story is.
I'm sure the rabbit was a positive sign....I don't believe in "coincidences" as my post on my British friend had explained about the credit card incident.

3:57 PM  

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