Choices That Lead to Death

It seems strange to talk about death when we are a few days into Spring–a season of life and rejuvenation. Actually, this story starts with new life, but it doesn’t have a happy ending.

The latest Nor’easter left us with several inches of snow. Unlike humans who make decisions about whether or not to have offspring when circumstances are unfavorable, animals have babies anyway. A visiting rabbit, and I say visiting because the tracks lead off into a field behind my house, chose to bring her babies into the world in my greenhouse.

Though the greenhouse won’t have protective panels for at least another week, the structure gives the illusion of protection. There are a million other places for a rabbit to birth new life–places that are not clearly marked with urine by dogs who live and hunt there.

When I discovered what my dogs found, it was too late. I was devastated. Though I’m not a fan of rabbits in my garden, I don’t enjoy pain, suffering or death, especially when it happens at the most vulnerable age. Just before I scolded my dogs, I realized it wasn’t their fault. Not to shift blame, but why did that rabbit choose this place? It was clearly “marked” as dangerous with the threat of carnivorous predators. Why should I blame my dogs or myself for someone else’s poor choices?

While I’d like to forget about this, I can’t shake the thought of choices and how they literally can mean life or death. I can’t force people to make good choices any more than they can convince me to choose wisely. But I can educate myself with the truth. I can share what I know with others. Together, we can grow in wisdom and make choices that lead to life.

©, March 23, 2018

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