Sunday, 20 October 2019

Table for One






Dear Reader

My blog is about domestic rabbits this week, and it appears that they are not having a very good time. Apparently the first pet rabbits were discovered by the Romans. Rabbits brought here from Spain were reared in walled enclosures and then served as a gourmet dish.

But today domestic rabbits often lead miserable, disease-ridden lives because their owners wrongly believe that they need minimal care and handling.  The VetCompass study revealed that the average lifespan of pet rabbits was just 4.3 years and that the majority of health problems were due to inappropriate housing and feeding.  

Dr. Dan O'Neill, VetCompass  researcher at RVC said: "For years rabbits were considered as the perfect child's pet: fluffy, cute, passive and only needing minimal care and handling whilst being fed muesli-type food in a hutch in the garden where it is generally kept on its own".

Dr. Jo Hedly said: "better owner education is necessary if we are to improve rabbit health and welfare in future years."  

I have to own up to having several rabbits in my childhood.  I'm sure I didn't clean the hutch out often enough and fed them dandelion leaves amongst other things and, I suspect, they had a tough and lonely life.  But in my defence I knew no better.

                                                                            *

A Table for One

The woman sat alone
in a corner,
at a table for one.
She ate slowly 
sipped from a wine glass.

I guess she was middle-aged
or a little older,
an ordinary woman
who seemed immensely sad.

She started talking to herself
her mouth making silent words,
took a handkerchief from her pocket
and wiped her eyes.

What was her story?
Had she been in this hotel before
with a lover who had left her,
did she come back to this place
to grieve each year?

I don't know her story
but she touched my heart.
I longed to cheer her,
speak to her but I said nothing.
I often think of her,
wish I had been braver.

                                                                              *

With best wishes, Patricia

                                                                     


1 comment:

Chris Lovejoy said...

Doesn't this poem speak to all the times we could have said something or made some intervention in a situation which might offer comfort or better someone's life but held back for fear or embarrassment? It does to me. So easy to turn aside.