Early evening.  The shadows lengthen.  All is quiet on the farm.  A glass of wine.  A mystery novel.   It is my favourite time of day.   If I’m very, very quiet the rabbits come out to play.

“I beg your pardon, Miss Virginia.  I do appreciate you took the advice of your Texas friend, Miss Jo Nell,  and put a rabbit proof fence around your tulips.”  I looked up from my book to see  Oswald, gentleman rabbit,  had left supervising the play time of two young bunnies and joined me on the patio.

“Just some leaves nibbled and a few blossoms lost.  No worries, dear Oswald.  Tell me, what is happening in the rabbit world?”

Oswald circled the basket wondering if there was room for both him and a rather large shell.  Rabbits like to be quite comfortable when they chat about their day.

“It is tight quarters, but I do so like the smell of the ocean.”  Oswald tucked his rather large feet under him. Wrinkled his nose.  He began to bring me up to date on the comings and goings in the rabbit world.

“Old growth trees on The Island.  They are planning to harvest them.   Terrible, just terrible.     Over 250 years old and when they are gone they are gone forever.  We have a few of our chaps in the Sierra Club.  We’ll see what we can do.    Of course the bee thing.  It’s ongoing.  We’re having the most success in the city.  More flowers there then in the country.    Then there’s NETFLIX.  It is our most ambitious project yet!”

“NETFLIX?     What has NETFLIX got to do with your stewardship of all things growing Oswald?” I asked.

“Watch the movie Watership Down.  The BBC production .  Listen for a deep, and rather ominous  voice, ‘In the beginning Frith made the World’.  It is the  beginning of Watership Down.”  Watch it and perhaps weep a little.  It is our world.

“I had no idea rabbits were involved in the entertainment business?”

“We’ve come a long way from  ‘What’s up Doc? rabbit cartoons” replied Oswald as he tossed back his ears, licked a paw and smoothed  his fur.

And with that my dear Oswald left his basket and the perfume of the ocean shell.  He gathered the two young rabbits and disappeared  deep into  the safety of his burrow.






  1. Oh, Virginia, what a delightful tale! Only you could coax a rabbit into a basket with a shell to chat with you! The beautiful tulips are saved. In the end I think Oswald is ok with that as you have plenty of grass nibbles for him and his friends. Who knew rabbits could be active environmentalists? Cheers!

    • Dearest Jo Nell, Shortly before I took these photographs Oswald was having a little snooze on the bed. He was investigating the giant flower and decided it really was the best place to have a nap. Of course by the time I got my camera he was back to baby sitting the bunnies. XXXOOO Virginia

  2. Hi Virginia,
    Been a while since I could catch up with reading/blogging, and now that I did, I couldn’t stop myself diving into the most sweetest imagination and smiled as I made my way through your beautiful tale. There’s something very serene and nice about your writing. Enjoyed my heart out. Cheers!


    • Such lovely words Sayori. They made my heart smile. I hope you visit Be’Occhio again, soon. You would enjoy the fairy tale for grown ups HOW OSWALD, GENTLEMAN RABBIT, CELEBRATES THE WINTER SOLSTICE AND TRIES TO SAVE THE WORLD ONE TREE AT A TIME. Cheers Virginia

      • Hi Virginia,
        I shall keep visiting Be’Occhio like always. If I am able to recall correctly, I discovered your beautiful blog through one of your posts on Mrs. Butterfingers, and then came along other great posts from you, and the journey has been lovely like always.


    • Dear Cornelia, I read the book back in the early 70’s. I wept bitter tears then and again when I watched the BBC production on Netflix. There is an older rabbit who lives in a burrow very close to our family room patio doors. He frequently comes to the patio door and gazes in for the longest time. I watch and wonder what he is thinking. Perhaps he thinks we are locked in a cage and longs to set us free. XXXOOO Virginia

  3. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Dear Virginia and Oswald, this is terrific. What a mood booster! Such a witty rabbit. And the photographs are gorgeous. Perhaps it is time to re-read Watership Down. It’s been years. Thanks for the retreat. More dispatches from the garden, please. Big hugs, Theadora (Favorite line: We’ve come a long way from the cartoons. Brilliant!)

    • Dearest Theadora, Early in the evening as the sun casts long shadows into the garden – the bunnies come out to play. The kitchen window looks out on to the patio and the back garden. There is a frantic frenzy of young rabbits chasing each other back and forth. Senior rabbits catch the last of the sun in the bone dry soil just off the patio. A few rolls in the dirt. A good shake. Then the youngsters are rounded up and everyone disappears into the nearby burrow. It is delightful entertainment when one is chopping, sauteing, washing dishes away in the kitchen. Oswald seems of have climbed the old iron bed. I am trying to catch him mid-nap. XXXOOO Virgina

  4. Charmingly done Virginia. Mr. Rabbit is spot on with his reminders. We on the island are appalled at the plans to cut the first growth near Port Renfrew. Watership Down is a favorite childhood book. The bees, ah the bees, planting all manner of flowering herbs to keep them happy and no use of chemicals here.

    • Oswald and friends have entertained me for a great many years. A city girl I had much to learn about living in the country. Rule number one. You must love rabbits. And every other two or four legged creature that visits your garden. Cheers Virginia

  5. What a fabulous visit you had! I wish an Oswald would visit me, but alas, I fear it would Be Ratty the Raccoon, and he would steal my glass of wine.
    Well, at least we have our Milkweed plant, where Muriel, the majestic Monarch can visit & lay her eggs!

    • Dearest Resa, Mr. Oswald has a wonderful wining way with words – and big thoughts. His thoughts are so big today when I went to the nursery to buy a David Austin rose, I came home with wild flower seeds. Enough to cover half the vegetable garden. Enough to guarantee sweet treats for bees, butterflies ans humming birds. Enough for Muriel and all her extravagant friends. XXXOOOXXX Virginia

    • Oswald continues to beguile us with his winning ways. He has adopted the outdoor bed has the perfect place to monitor the comings and goings of fellow rabbits.. They continue to nibble on flowers. Now it is dahlias that tempt their appetite. But I have so many flowers it is not a hardship to share . Cheers Virginia

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