Friday, 12 February 2010

A Little Rabbit, Death and the Mind not Minding

Ooompf, this is going to be an awkward one, and fear it will throw up more questions than answers.

First one could be: Why does it always have to be me?

Humans love that slightly theatrical: ‘Why, oh why, and why me?!’ Don’t they?

This should actually be an easy one – most of the time there is a simple answer:

Why me to bring the rubbish out? It’s your turn!

Why me to end up with a silly brick? Because you always choose to date those!

… and if there isn’t a simple answer?

Well, just don’t ask the question. The comments in Nury’s column suggest that there are gremlins sitting at breakfast and thinking about how they can get you. But I don’t really believe in gremlins. I believe that there are things that are just happening. One day to me and the other day to someone else. Just that we have more information about our mishaps and we recall them more vividly – hence the feeling of accumulating them.

So I’m not posing this questing although I’m very tempted!

Here is it is, the incident which triggered this urge: I killed a sick rabbit today. It was not the first animal, I had to kill some mice because our silly cat left them half dead in my living room, and there was the odd sparrow for the same reason.

Now it was a rabbit and this thought of: ‘Why me again?’ briefly shot through my head. Since this isn't something I do on a regular basis a lot of thoughts were buzzing through my head and I had to write it all down. However, I was not sure if I should post it. It could be upsetting for some of you, others might see me as a woman with killer instinct and not visit the site anymore...

But as usual: Once the mind has a focus on a certain matter it sees similar incidences everywhere. For example I zapped through the TV channels and came across a stand-up show with Jimmy Carr who was making jokes about death, and that there is a positive side of everything; 'The fun one can have at funerals, that life goes on... not for the diseased, obviously...' that sort of thing.

Apparently there are people who see a comical aspect in death, so I'm not feeling too bad anymore to tell the story:

I had seen the poor thing yesterday and felt sorry for it, eyelids swollen into a big mess and severely undernourished. Today it had been dragging itself across a car park, and when I was about to leave a guy came waving across the street claiming that I had run it over. Gosh, imagine my shock. I hadn’t seen or felt a thing… It was alive but in a sad condition. It had Myxomatosis: both eyes swollen shut, a watering snout and was barely able to move. Whether it was hit by my car or not, this little thing didn’t stand a chance of survival, and so I killed it. It is now lying under a lovely rosemary bush, and I hope I did the right thing.

On my way back home in the car the mind started to float and all these thoughts popped into my head:

Why do I feel like having to defend myself?

Is it because a wild rabbit it is so much bigger than a mouse or a sparrow? They are considered vermin after all.

Where do I draw the line in pity killing? Rabbit, cat, dog, ape, human?

It is socially accepted to eat meat, so is it OK to have others killing even bigger animals on my behalf?

If I were on an island and hungry, would it be more or less ok to kill the rabbit and then to eat it?

If I would have promised not to kill because I were of a certain religion, or for whatever else reason: Would I have decided the same way?

... and then without a warning the weirdest thought of all:

Hmmm, it’s still smelling like rosemary here… good! I will be able to connect this incident to something nice and not gruesome: After all, rabbit goes well with rosemary.

Duh? What was that?

When I told the story to a friend, she had the exact same thought. We just couldn’t help but laugh. It seems that the blanket of politically correct civilisation is rather thin, since the human brain just doesn't bother about what kind of thoughts it comes up with.

In the end of the day all the questions are revolving around the subject of ‘respecting life in general’. A fly should have the same right to live its life as does a human! Nevertheless, how easily do we kill a fly.

So, does size matter, after all?

It’s all a bit in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? If one has a proper job as a comedian it’s even OK to use these thoughts to make a living. They thrive on the awkward edges of manhood – and we love it. For a brief moment it takes the scare out of our own mortality.

I’m beginning to realise that it is all less about death itself - it doesn’t scare me anymore – it is about the ‘When?’. As long as we don’t know we are not really bothered, as soon as we have a deadline – see, all of a sudden this common word gets a rather macabre aura – as soon as we know we become all nervous about it.

So let’s enjoy what we have left over from life. Let’s see the good things in it and during times where we think that there aren’t any: Let’s make them happen!


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