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The meaning of life and other serious questions. July 21, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, homesteading, pets.
Tags: , ,

Silence Dogood here. As a species that, as far as we can tell, is unique in its ability to ponder the abstract, we humans are given to thinking of the big, unanswerable questions: Why are we all here? How did life arise? What happens when we die? What does the future hold? Is there life on other planets, and if so, when will it get here? Why did those damned astronomers demote Pluto?

Or, in my case: Why is the canister of bunny papaya tablets sitting on top of the Kleenex box in the bathroom? 

Back in the good old days before global warming, summers were comparatively cool here at Hawk’s Haven, the cottage home our friend Ben and I share in the precise middle of nowhere, PA. Our aim was at least partial self-sufficiency, but with less than an acre, milk-producing critters like cows and goats were out, and since I’m a passionate vegetarian, aquaculture and the like was out as well. But OFB and I both love animals and we both wanted them as part of our homestead operation. So we created a chicken coop/bunny hutch enclosure, with kenneling on all sides and over the top so no predators could get in and a large grapevine growing over the enclosure to provide shade. Plus a spacious, well-lit chicken coop and top-of-the-line redwood bunny hutches. Our rationale was that the chickens would provide delicious organic eggs (which they do) and high-nitrogen fertilizer in the form of their droppings, while the bunnies produced a balanced organic, ready-to-use fertilizer in the form of their droppings. And besides, we love bunnies.

The thing is, bunnies need to chew. They need to chew woody, fibrous, tough-to-digest stuff. Which is where those little papaya/pineapple tablets come in. The tablets help the bunnies digest all that woody stuff so they don’t get sick.

The mystery, then, is not why we had a canister of bunny papaya tabs. It’s how they came to be in our bathroom years after our last bunny went to that great clover-and-carrot patch in the sky. You see, bunnies, like us, hate hot weather. And as our summers have become progressively more and more unbearable, we have found it impossible to justify bringing new bunnies into our homestead setup. So once our last bunny expired, we have forced ourselves to resist. Much as we love them, much as it kills us to walk away from adorable bunnies, we know we’re doing them a favor by not subjecting them to our horrific summers. 

The papaya tabs outlasted the bunnies who should have benefited from them, since we always seem to go overboard when it comes to stocking up on things. And what do you do with papaya tabs when you no longer have bunnies to feed them to and don’t know anyone else who has bunnies, either? This might be another of those imponderable questions. In our case, they just stayed on a shelf in our mudroom. Until just now, when I saw the canister sitting on the Kleenex dispenser in our bathroom.

How the papaya tablets migrated from the mudroom to the bathroom I’ll never know. (Since someone who’s now peacefully snoring away will never admit to having anything to do with this.) Why the papaya tablets migrated from the mudroom to the bathroom is, in my view, the more relevant question. Not to mention, what should be done with them at this point? Maybe some local animal shelter has a few bunnies who could use them.

                    ‘Til next time,




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