Character he certainly did have but financial awareness - no! In his early years he and his pal Fudge (a gorgeous lop eared blonde belonging to Little Sis) were allowed to roam around our supposedly rabbit proofed house. I can't even begin to list the amount of electrical appliances that were 'disabled' but let's just say the damage ran in to hundreds of pounds. After a particularly naughty stint with the fridge freezer it was decided that it would be safer, and certainly cheaper, for them to live outside. At night they retired to their hutch but during the day they lolloped and binkied ( a particularly lovely leap that you would usually associate with young lambs) around the garden. Fudge passed away several years ago now but Ned never seemed lonely. He continued to binky and sunbathe in plant pots. He shared his apples and pears with the blackbird and was fascinated by the clutch of ducklings that hatched in our fern last year. He was very sociable and would love to stretch out in the sun alongside Jessie Dog, or wander up and sit on his hind legs, meerkat style, waiting to be picked up for a tickle.
Last week we noticed a slight change. Mr K would often return from walking Jessie Dog with some lovely large dandelion leaves from the towpath. But Ned wasn't interested. He seemed a little tired and kept his normally alert ears flat on his back. We tucked him up in a duvet and took him to the vet. He returned with some antibiotics and the prognosis that it was probably some form of infection. But we knew. Strangely Big Sis was home from university for one night and she sat with him on her lap, stroking him for at least an hour. It was sheer coincidence that she was able to spend this time with him as the next day he was gone. Although we knew it wouldn't be long I think it has hit us all a little harder than we expected. He was part of our family for eight years and saw Big Sis develop from a schoolgirl into a bright young woman. He now lies alongside Fudge under the plum tree at the top of the garden and I can only hope that somewhere they are binkying around a field full of dandelions and primroses.
Farewell Ned - you were a good rabbit.