The Saga of the Rabbits II

So. Remember the unexpected baby rabbits? And how I predicted that we’d know who the father was when the other female got pregnant?

We’d been pretty sure that Daughter Two’s rabbit was the other female. Daughter One’s was the one who had the first babies. Daughter Three kept saying “My rabbit is having babies! My rabbit will be a mummy!” and we kept gently explaining to her that her rabbit was the daddy, so it wouldn’t be her/him who had the babies.

We were wrong. Daughter Three was right. Her rabbit is now indisputably pregnant and has started making a nest in the mesh rabbit run we had shut him into when we believed the other rabbit was pregnant (and therefore moved her into the newly-built second hutch). In a few days there will be another litter.

This discovery was made some time this morning. This evening, Daughter One went out to feed the rabbits and came running into the house in a panic, shouting “There are more baby rabbits!”. It was not the pregnant rabbit who had had babies. It was the one who had already had a litter.

Daughter One’s rabbit has given birth to twelve babies in the last month.

Five of the six born today are dead.

There has been a lot of crying amongst the children, and a lot of amazement amongst the adults – the mother has been separated from the others since the moment we realised she was pregnant, so she must have been pregnant with both litters at the same time.

The question is now, what the HELL are we going to do with all these babies? What if the currently-pregnant rabbit also gives birth to two litters? What if more of them die?

In non-rabbity news, I made a new friend 🙂 A girl I didn’t recognise was singing alto in the church choir yesterday and it turned out she had joined three weeks ago, so the same week that I went on holiday. After the service we got chatting and decided to go and get lunch together. We went to a little market she’d found the previous week and had amazing Lebanese food – sort of like pita bread with some kind of fuscia vegetable, lentils, something similar to hummus and some other things I didn’t recognise. We wandered around and both talked ten to the dozen and it was really nice.

I’d mentioned I’d been thinking of seeing True Grit at 4.15 and suggested she came too, but I was worried it might be too late in the afternoon. It was great though, we went out to the National Museum of Ceramics which is near where I live, and I showed her the amazing panoramic views (I haven’t got to show them off to anyone yet) and we looked at all the pottery and chatted about the Biblical stories depicted and then it was time to go to the cinema. She found True Grit hilarious – I think it might be quite an American sort of humour but I did enjoy it a lot – and we were both surprised that no one else seemed to be laughing, but perhaps the French subtitles weren’t as funny as the dialogue.

It’s so nice to have made two friends so effortlessly. Making friends here is tricky because I don’t really have a lot of opportunities to meet people. There are three of us who go regularly to French class and the lady who isn’t my friend Anne is just enough older than us that we don’t quite connect, and also I don’t think she speaks a lot of English (and I don’t speak enough French!). I have yet to meet a single French person other than shopkeepers and my teachers.

Anyway, on Friday Anna is coming to visit and I’m looking at all the things we can do. It seems like the weekend everything is happening! There’s lots going on in Cambridge, including an audition for a summer show I really wanted to be in (but apparently you can’t audition via Skype) and two dinners, but there’s also lots going on in Paris like the carnival and a San Fransisco-style brunch. It will be fun 🙂 My mum is coming in three weeks so I need to think about what we’re going to do then too, and I’ve just found out that there will be two weekends in May when my room is needed for visitors, so I need to find somewhere else to stay.

I’m feeling kind of mixed about this – I have no idea where I am meant to go for these weekends, and I sort of feel like I shouldn’t be expected to go and stay in a hotel somewhere for four nights when I’m meant to be living here. On the other hand I never argue with anything I’m told to do by my employer because… I don’t know. I guess I’m a doormat. I have to clear everything out of my room for the visitors, wardrobe and all, so that is kind of inconvenient but I can understand why because it would be awkward for the visitors to get here and find all my clothes in the wardrobe and books on the shelf/radiator (the radiator still isn’t fixed so I’m storing books on top of it).

This has turned into a hefty post! I’ve got about an hour before my laundry is finished and I’m intending to go to bed as soon as I’ve dealt with that, because tomorrow Anne and I are going somewhere. We haven’t decided where yet, but I’ll go and have a think. Maybe ice skating! I like ice skating.

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4 thoughts on “The Saga of the Rabbits II

  1. Take full advantage of it and go elsewhere for the weekend – I’ve been to Lyon, the youth hostel there is pretty good (although up a slightly frustrating hill) and there’s definitely enough to see there for a weekend.

    • I’ve been talking to my mum about this, and she thinks I ought to say that it isn’t really acceptable to ask me to leave the house for two weekends without anywhere to go, especially when it is part of my wages to be living here. I am quite scared of the idea of doing that, because for some reason she just paralyses me with fear of… I don’t know. Losing my job? That at least would stop me agonising over whether to just leave. Being made to cry? Happens already. It is just easier to bite my tongue and spend more than the week’s wages paying for a hotel room and transport to it and food etc, just so that she can have a staff-free house for two weekends.

      • It’s not unreasonable to ask for them to pay for (sensible) accommodation bills, especially if otherwise you’ll be paying a week’s salary for them. (Also food…)

        I can see it’s a tricky thing to approach though – no one likes confrontation. It might be easier if you came to them with a costed plan so you can say “I’m prepared to move out, but I’ll need this much to pay for my accommodation/food while I’m away”.

        Do you have a contract? Is anything written into it about this?

      • Unfortunately we never got round to a contract (although it was agreed there would be one… there just isn’t) and since we’re both British I don’t think I’m protected by French laws on au pairs, which are designed to protect potentially exploited girls from other countries who can’t speak the language and don’t know the law. I just have to grit my teeth and bring it up, but I am being a wuss.

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