I had an uneasy feeling when I woke up minutes after six yesterday morning. I can’t quite explain it except that I felt I shouldn’t go to work.
I wasn’t so excited about staying home. After all, I hadn’t been to work since Thursday which meant that several articles were in short order. But even as I showered and got dressed, I couldn’t ignore the shadows twisting in my stomach, the dryness of my mouth.
I had eaten a good meal the night before so it wasn’t the runs or anything embarrassing like that. But what could it be?
I made an egg sandwich — forced myself to chew — but the uneasy feeling seemed to take residence inside me.
I looked at the clock. It was already minutes to 7. If I didn’t leave in that moment, I’d miss the free bus ride to work. But still, I roamed the house like a ghost.
Eventually my husband got up and began preparing to head out. The chickens were out of food so he needed to stock up by purchasing about 20 pounds of chicken feed. Soon he was ready to leave and there I was roaming still.
That’s when I heard his voice, “Come Trish! Come look!” I rushed out to the back of the house. He was stooping near the rabbit hutch motioning to me with his hands. I ran over to him and to my surprise, there were tiny baby rabbits on the ground.
Mother Doe had given birth.
We didn’t even know she was pregnant much less ready to give birth. Since no nest box was placed inside the hutch, the rabbit kittens had fallen through the mesh flooring and were matted with dirt. We had to act quickly since they were exposed to the elements and could die as a result.
Gregory grabbed the nest box, filled it with dried banana leaves and we placed the delicate kittens inside. Greg was mad. How come Mother Doe have been hiding her pregnancy? Or was it that she was as unaware as we were?
About two weeks before Greg had palpated her and thought she was pregnant. But a few days after when he checked he again didn’t feel a thing. We thought Mother Doe had absorbed her babies as some rabbits do when they aren’t ready for pregnancy. After all, she’d had her last set of kittens less than two months ago.
Strange how she hadn’t shown any pre-birth signs on Sunday night or a few nights before—signs like pulling fur or building a nest.
It had me thinking how life can be full of surprises. Sometimes unexpected things happen and we just aren’t prepared. We have to act quickly and hope it makes up the difference.
I just hope I won’t be like Mother Doe and have an unexpected birth. After reading an article about the surprise birth of a 9 pound baby, I’m starting to think that I’d better be prepared and start packing my bags just in case. Cause even when you think these things will never happen to you, life might just surprise you.