I try and tell myself that if it (he? she?) hadn't died in our garden fence, it would have killed itself somewhere else: trapped under a root. Drowning in a puddle. Stuck in an owl's talons. Still, it's hard to absolve myself of guilt when I've installed this device, this 2x4-in. grid of steel, which just happens to be one tiny pinch smaller than a full grown rabbit's pelvis. I blame myself for this death.
When my bunny-loving daughters came upon this specter, I was called upon to remove the body and place it into a sanctified grave. I was too squeamish—when the cold corpse failed to budge at a little tug, I called on Mr. Puddle Run to give it a great wrenching yank. I couldn't bring myself to try harder, being afraid that the whole body would be degloved by my effort. Mr. Puddle Run, coming to my rescue, gave the rabbit a backwards pull (in the direction from whence it had come). His effort was so slight that we were sure the poor thing could have freed itself had it thought of trying the same.
"Rest in peace," I told it, and "may you frolic forever in the green pastures of the Great Unknowable," or some such nonsense. Then, with a giant heave that startled my children and caused my husband to burst out laughing, I chucked it over the fence and over the trees and towards the swamp where it can return to the chain of nutrients . . . dissolving to become fish food, then eagle food, then eagle poop, then grass, then rabbit food, and someday, perhaps, a rabbit again.