'Mummy! There are purple flowers in the garden,' says my youngest son one Sunday morning. I walk with him and see a few stray violets in the garden. 'Did you buy those?' he asks when I look at them. 'No that's what nature does,' I explain. As bees fly from flower to flower, collecting nectar for honey, they also disperse the flower's seeds. But the wind can also lend a hand,' I say with a wink. 'The wind then disperses the seeds from the flower and so next year, flowers will appear in other places just like that'. My son looks doubtful. 'So the wind helps them?' he asks. I nod, 'Are those their babies then?' he asks. 'Yes you can call them that I guess,' as I give him a pat on the head.
A few weeks later, our neighbour's seven-year-old boy comes running into the garden. He is a friend of my son and are also in class together. 'We have baby bunnies!' he shouts at us. 'They were born today,' he says hopping around the garden. Together with him and my son, I walk towards their garden. In the garden, the neighbour is looking angrily at the coop and the neighbour's wife is busily pressing her phone, looking for the right number. When she calls, she sees us, beckons us and gestures for me to look in the hutch. I see mother rabbit adrift keeping her little ones warm by filling the nest with hair and straw. It is already March but still quite chilly today. Two very small bald critters sniff around her in search of their mother. 'Cute huh?", says the boy next door more affirmatively than questioningly.
The neighbour has gone inside. With his arms crossed, he is watching his football match he missed the day before. The neighbour's wife, meanwhile, is having a phone conversation with the vet. 'This is your fault,' I hear her shout angrily. I walk over to the neighbour. 'I believe I can congratulate you' I ask smiling. "I didn't want any rabbits at all, he starts grumbling. But now I have four!
I walk back to the neighbour who has just hung up. As I walk up to her, she immediately starts complaining to me. 'I bought them for his birthday,' pointing to her son. I immediately had them checked by the vet the first week to possibly have one spayed. The vet indicated that no sterilisation was needed because they were two females. 'How long have you had them?", I ask. I see her thinking for a moment as she says, 'For six months I think'. I immediately start laughing. 'Apparently the male was very shy at the vet,' I tell her, laughing. It takes a few seconds before she also bursts into laughter.
'Can two girls have babies too mum?" my son asks over dinner. I immediately think of several lady couples under care at our practice. 'Yes they can but they need a little help for that,' I say. Before I can think of how to explain this to a seven-year-old boy, he already has an answer of his own. 'I already know how they get help!' he says enthusiastically. 'By the wind, of course!'