Oh my sweet Hallie Bunny. This is one of the hardest blog posts for me. To write down my thoughts and feelings when it comes to the most amazing wild animal I have ever met, our sweet Hallie Bunny so here it goes…
Hallie has been a resident cottontail rabbit in our yard for several years. We normally see her hanging out in our yard in the spring/summer season when she is growing her family. And then she becomes more “wild” during the late fall and winter season to where we don’t see her as often.
The summer of 2017 was a challenging summer for our cottontail rabbit family. Hallie appeared to have suffered a leg injury as she was not putting pressure on her back leg. I monitored her to make sure she could still get around and escape in the event of when a predator would visit us. She seemed to get around and still had her rabbit senses. I did call a wildlife rehabber to make sure if there was anything we could do to help her leg. The wildlife rehabber had indicated since Hallie was an older cottontail rabbit (we were thinking she was at least 6 years old) that it would be too traumatizing to capture her to see what was wrong with her leg. The wildlife rehabber graciously offered to help us if at any time Hallie were to decline and needed medical attention.
Towards the end of summer, Hallie would immediately hop over as soon as I went outside. She would enjoy her bunny buffet of treats as we sat together. I took advantage of every moment with Hallie Bunny as each moment was a special gift. I would sing to her and tell her she was so beautiful, the most beautiful bunny in the world to me.
Well, the summer season comes to an end and the fall weather begins. Hallie begins to become more wild and hops on to new adventures. We had not seen her in a few weeks like normal. I always begin to wonder if she was doing well in her bunny adventures. That next day (on October 13th), she came back at dusk to see us. I was so elated. Of course, I loaded up a plate with her favorite bunny treats. I rushed outside as she ran up to me. I captured the moment with her on video while she enjoyed her carrots. I found myself asking, was this the last time we would see her? I didn’t want that moment to end. I sang her special bunny song and watched her hop into the night. This moment is so special and priceless. Our last moment together was on October 13, 2017. I am trying to hold back the tears as I write this blog post…wondering are my thoughts coming out right?
Right before she left, we were able to take a few pictures of Hallie Bunny with our first children’s wildlife book, Oh Hoppy Day! that was inspired by her.
I did everything I could to hold back the tears and be brave for Hallie Bunny that night. I know she is a wild cottontail rabbit and needs to go on her way for the fall/winter season bunny adventures.
I thought of her everyday going forward. The winter time was upon us and I had moments that she was so close to my heart around the end of December. I said a little bunny prayer for Hallie and later that day found a leaf in my living room floor. I picked it up because it looked like a rabbit, it even looked like Hallie with the crinkled ear and everything. I had wondered how this leaf made its way into our home and truly felt Hallie sending her love.
I was comforted that day by the little rabbit leaf that looked like her. We are so thankful that she chose us and our yard to dwell and have her family over the years. She is the one that really opened our eyes to the natural world around us. She was so inspiring and so unique.
She did not return to our yard for the spring/summer season of 2018. Our yard has definitely not the same. I hope over time it gets easier to be without her.
I like to think she did what she came to do and that was to touch our hearts in a special way. To be more mindful of the wildlife that visit our yard. That we can live in harmony with our backyard wildlife and even feel we can call them our friends. To embrace the natural world around us, and teach us to appreciate their purpose in the ecosystem that is in place for us. And now, Hallie Bunny is off on a new bunny adventure to help another family.
That’s my Hallie Bunny. She was spoiled and loved. I will forever and always remember her! I love you sweet Hallie Bunny. Thank you so much for touching my heart and my life. I have featured one of my favorite pictures of Hallie Bunny. She knew she was the Queen Hallie Bunny in our yard.