Posts Tagged ‘ Death ’

The Little Rabbit — A short story.

 It was a chilly morning and the little rabbit shivered into his mother’s soft, musky fur. He felt the autumn breeze biting into his back as they laid together. They always liked to snuggle closely in the cold. He remembered there was nothing more comforting than laying with his mother and family when it was raining or windy. As he waited next to her, he heard a familiar noise in the distance — it was coming closer again, like before. It roared loudly, a monster coming to get him, he thought. He nudged his mother’s side with his nose. but she didn’t react. The little rabbit was too tired to get up and run. His heart beat faster as the monster growled over him and his still mother… It sped away into the distance. Quiet again. He looked around at his surroundings. The road he lay on glistened with dew in the low morning sun. It was very cold and even her fur wasn’t warm any more. It was damp and cool against his nose. As he turned to look at her staring brown eyes, he saw a trickle of red falling from her velvet-soft nose. That nose that had snuffled through the grass on a hazy afternoon. She stared into the nothingness. He looked over her body, remembering how she would clean her face with her now spiritless paws. How she had listened for danger with those pale ears.The little rabbit and his mother laid together on the wet, unforgiving tarmac as the cars drove past them and over them, too busy to stop and ask them why they were there.

 He heard the birds beginning to sing. It was a wondrous sound to hear on such a pretty, autumnal  morning. The robin, with his liquid song and the wood pigeons, cooing to each other high up in the trees. So many different little voices, all singing, all talking to one another. The dawn chorus dripped down over the pair; he was sure the birds were singing a sad song, remarking on their situation. Then, he heard the clack-clacking of the hungry black and white corvids. Perhaps they followed the sad songs in order to cash in on such a circumstance. They circled the mother and son, chattering to each other as they did so. They began to make for his mother, when the little rabbit pulled enough strength together to move a little. No, he wasn’t dead yet. And he wasn’t going to just leave her here, on her own in the cold. The magpies flapped out of the way as another monstrous car whizzed over them. He almost wished that the car would knock him again so he wouldn’t have to be apart from his mother any longer. His little body was aching greatly, and all he could do was nuzzle up and daydream they were back in their cozy warren. He dreamt of the dewy morning grass and the warm afternoon sunshine on his back. It felt like days that they laid there. Him trying to ward off the scavengers, her keeping him company in her silent state.

 Now, the sun was up and the day was beginning to warm slightly. He scarcely clung on to his little life. It was hard to keep his eyes open; he was very cold and tired now. Tiny ears were laid flat and little eyes were heavy, laying next to a dead rigid mother. Many cars had now driven over them, and he didn’t even have the strength to be frightened any more. Again, he heard an oncoming car in the distance. But this time it didn’t zoom past. It stopped before them. He heard the tick-tick-tick of the engine close to him and footsteps running over. Before he knew what was happening, he had been scooped up from the wet road into the warm arms of a human. He was wrapped up and deposited in a cardboard box, then loaded into her car. He dripped clashing red blood onto the silky cerise scarf. Suddenly, everything became quiet. He laid in the dark of the box, a chink of light seeping in above him. What about my mother? Don’t forget her… He thought. It was a little while before the human got back into the car with him. She had moved the other rabbit into the hedges. His mother didn’t appear in the box with him. He could still smell her on his fur, though. He closed his eyes, and embraced the quiet darkness. Resting in the comfort of the big box, he now felt his body hurting. He remembered the clip he took to the face as he ran out with his mother into the road. He had been behind her just as she was run over. He sighed heavily at the thought of leaving her behind.

Now he could feel that he was moving; he was travelling to somewhere. Moments later, the movement stopped and he heard the human talking to him. Opening the car door, she peeped into the box, and stroked his soft ear. He had warmed up somewhat now, but continued to spill spots of blood from his mouth over the garish scarf. She carried him and the box into her house and carefully placed the box down. She spoke hurriedly to another human about him. A quiet place was cleared and phone calls were made. He was carried away by a thankful uniformed man and the little rabbit’s sad story was explained many times more.


I Hope I’ll Never Get Like That

What do you think of when you hear the words ‘old age’? Grey hair, hearing aids, pensions…? We all know it’s coming. When I think about it, I think of my job. I’m a care assistant and as a young woman working with the elderly, it crosses my mind more times than I like to care about. Before I became a carer, I had a cushy job in a shop. Nothing terribly nasty to deal with, except the odd rude mother. I had never thought about what will happen to me when I’m old. And I’m pretty sure many people older than me still haven’t thought about it either.

Where I work, I have had to deal with a large range of people, all old, but all very different. Some can walk, some can’t. Some can, but won’t. Some have a great sense of humour, and some are the rudest people I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet! So when I’m helping all these different people, I’m wondering to myself: will I end up this way? Will I end up relying on a person to wash me, clothe me and take me to the toilet? I want to know at what point in my life I might say, “Hey, you know what? I can’t be bothered any more, you do it for me.” It’s not the way I want to grow old, but I’m pretty sure that the people I have to help thought that too. I’m not saying that everyone is like that, but I’m sure some are. There’s always someone worse off than yourself, and I wish that some people could see how lucky they are.

Being very young and being from a town where 90% of my school friends all have two or more children, you’d expect me to be familiar with poo. Well, let me tell you, I wasn’t. Until I did this job. I was literally thrown in the commode at the deep end. All of a sudden, I was experiencing the world of incontinence (not personally!) and you can’t be squeamish when someone’s in a ‘bit of a pickle’. As long as you’ve got your gloves on, it’s down to business! And unless you’re in some sort of care role, I’ll bet you’ve never come across the Bristol Stool Scale. Yes, you got it peeps. Exactly what it says on the tin. I’ll be honest, it’s always a low point in my day when I ask a colleague “So, what type do you reckon that one was?”.

And so on to the inevitable. You’re born, you live, and then you die. Death seems to be a bit of a taboo in our house. I’m quite happy to discuss it, perhaps because I deal with it on a regular basis, but Ben does not like to talk about it (It might be because I tend to strike up at conversation about it at bedtime…). But I find dying very interesting. It’s something people rarely get to watch happening. Sometimes it’s quick, sometimes it’s slow. The first thing to notice is that a person will fall into unconsciousness, and their breathing will change. And believe it or not, there really is a smell. I can only describe it as a sickly-sweet smell. It seems to emanate from the body; it’s not unpleasant, but it’s not pleasant either. Then you begin to notice hands and feet go cold. Once the skin begins to change colour, that means the body is shutting down. It almost works its way up (or down) the body, going from the extremities and then, I suppose, to the heart. And that’s it. All that personality – gone. Strange to think about it, really. Does it go somewhere? We’ll never know… Until we’re there ourselves. I’m not such a big fan of death though, it freaks me out a bit. I’ll leave the whole washing the body thing to the others!

So although I’m only 24, I’m very worried about what I’ll be like when I’m 84. I’d rather not get to that age, but knowing my bloody luck, I will. And you try and keep your dignity while someone’s washing your bottom because you’ve wet yourself. I have so many people say how embarrassing it is for them to be in such a situation, and I totally understand it. But I’ll always smile and say “Believe me, I’ve had worse.”

And it’s bloody true!