Before I go any further… Hot Wheels is a paraplegic rabbit. And for eight days, he was left in our care while… His “mom” Ani, was out of town.
On the appointed day, Ani delivered Hot Wheels with a bag of hay, rabbit pellets, a plastic tote for a bed…
Plus, a full page of detailed, care and feeding instructions, including…
“I like to put him in his wheelchair in the morning and again in the evening,” Ani explained. This gives him exercise and entertainment.”
Now you might be wondering, wheelchair?
Thing is, Hot Wheels’ hind legs don’t work quite right.
Here’s what happened to Hot Wheels…
Ani was out walking her dog when she came across a strange sight—a little black bunny lying in a mud puddle.
“I went closer and he tried to hop away but I could see that he was dragging his back legs.”
Ani took the paraplegic bunny home to warm up. To Ani’s surprise, the rabbit survived.
When Hot Wheels regained strength, Ani introduced him to the Kodiak Middle School and invited them to come up with a wheelchair for the bunny.
For a week, Marty and I tended to Hot Wheels.
[Hi, it’s Marion. This article was originally published in the Kodiak Daily Mirror, the hometown newspaper for Kodiak, Alaska. Go here to access the archive page for the list of my past columns, written each week since 1986].
We helped him pee (he has no control over his bladder), fed him carrots and leafy greens, and provided a change of scenery by “walking” him around the garden and taking him for rides in the car.
Here’s something else we discovered in the instructions: Physical therapy.
“It’s good to flex and point his toes, feet, ankles, hips,” Ani said. “Do 5 repetitions of each body part. Massage as you go for good circulation.”
Ani added another key component to the instructions: Cuddles.
“Love and cuddles help reduce stress,” Ani said.
That was easy. Who couldn’t love Hot Wheels!
Primroses are edible? Let’s Google that!
On a sunny afternoon, before Ani was scheduled to pick up Hot Wheels, I set him outside on the grass so he could graze to his bunny heart’s content.
As he spun ’round in circles with his front legs, I remembered reading about primroses, and how they’re edible.
So I Googled it…
Turns out that primroses are held in high esteem around the world.
Italy chose a fuchsia primrose as the symbol of its 2020 COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
Back in Kodiak, our primroses were in their blooming prime… which, fancy this, dovetails with the scientific name Primula from the Latin word primus, “prime”, alluding to the fact that primroses are among the first to appear in spring.
What parts of primroses are safe to eat?
According to many sources, both flowers and leaves are edible. I can only describe the flavor as somewhere between lettuce and mild cress.
The leaves can be cooked in soup and steeped as a tea. And the young flowers can be made into primrose wine.
In years past, primrose leaves were given for colds, since they contain significant amounts of vitamin C. Is Anyone willing to give this a try?
How to preserve primrose flowers
You can also preserve the flowers (and other edible flowers such as pansies) in a coating of egg white and granulated sugar.
When finished, the preserved flowers will look as if they’ve been zapped by a late spring frost.
Use them to decorate cupcakes, ice cream, and other desserts.
So how does Hot Wheels like the taste of primrose flowers?
I’ll ask him next time I get to bunny-sit…
PS Dear readers, I’m sad to report that Hot Wheels passed away on May 26, 2022.
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