Try as we might to give them everything they need for a long, healthy life, a wonderful thing just can't last forever... On May 10th, 2001, my dear little Bunny passed away after a three week illness. Rather than give the details of her illness here, I want this page to be devoted to the memory of her life; for she was indeed, an exceptional quail. She was over four years old, and although I'll never know exactly how old, she lived longer than many of her quail "sisters". I applied everything I knew about quails, and learned more along the way, in making her health my first concern. I really believe that she enjoyed a longer, healthier life because of this. It was only at the very end that she showed any signs of age at all. All her life, she was an active, independent, opinionated little lady.
Strangely enough, she wasn't interested in the company of other quails, and would chatter quite fiercely at them when they came near. I was privileged and honored in that she preferred my company to anyone else's, and she was rewarded with many, many mealworms for her affection. I'll always remember her little "wheep-wheep-wheep" greetings to me whenever I'd come near her cage, and the way she'd sometimes dash up the sleeve of my sweatshirt if she were sitting on the desk next to my arm.
Of course, she wasn't always hovering around me; more often than not, she'd go "exploring" when I let her out of her house. I could count on finding her just about anywhere; inside my closet, underneath the chair in the hall, playing with the cobwebs behind my desk, even halfway down the staircase! Often I'd let her out to roam when I was working at my computer, and if I couldn't see her, I'd often call out, "Bunny, what are you doing?" She would invariably answer back with a sweet "peep-peep-peep!". If I would whistle to her, she would always make her little whistling call in reply. I really shouldn't say always, because there were the few times I would call out and get no answer. I came to learn that when she didn't answer, she was somewhere she wasn't supposed to be, such as in the clothes at the bottom of my closet, or harassing the other quails, who were undoubtedly jealously watching her from inside their tanks. I know it sounds incredible, but I truly believe she knew when she was "up to no good", and wouldn't answer me until I came looking for her. :)
One thing she loved above all was her mealworms. Every morning before work, I'd prepare a little plate of a few cut-up worms for her, and if she hadn't already come to investigate the sound of the plate, all I'd have to do was call out, "Bunny, worms!" and she'd be there in no time. I'd always feed her a few pieces from my fingers before placing the plate down for her to eat the rest. In her last weeks, I'd prepare a few worms, cut up into tiny pieces, and bring them to her cage three times a day, so that I knew she had at least that to look forward to.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this page, and to remember Bunny with me. The following story is what I'd originally written about Bunny back in 1998, when I'd only had her a few months. I'm leaving it just as I wrote it then, because I like to remember her this way. Happy Quails!
Bunny is one of the four buttons I purchased from a local pet store last summer. She is now what is affectionately referred to as an "Exceptionally Tame Quail" (ETQ for short) Bunny was not at all tame when I bought her, and her bonding to me came as somewhat of a surprise... I didn't do anything special to make her tame except feed her from my hand, but one day she started flopping over and saying "peep-peep-peep-peep" when I'd walk into the room, which is a little bonding thing female quails do around their mates. At first I didn't know what to make of this, and thought that perhaps she was just reacting to the other quails in the room, or that she was afraid of me looming over the cage. But I continued to try to approach her, a little bit at a time, so that I wouldn't "wear out my welcome". Soon, she was letting me skritch under her chin and before long, I was able to pick her up! Just a little darling!
One time this summer, I had her out on the floor, running around, and she climbed up into my lap, like she was looking for a comfy spot. She jumped off, but immediately clambered right back up, so I put my hand over her to see if she'd like to feel secure...next thing I knew, there was a little "plunk", and she'd lain an egg, right on my lap! It was so sweet to know that she looked to me, as opposed to some dark corner, for safety for her egg!
Like most buttons, Bunny likes to get out and do a bit of exploring. More than once, I've found her under the bed, strolling around among the dustbunnies that (I'm embarrassed to admit) seem to congregate in abundance there. This is where Bunny got her name, especially in that she is gray, and seems to drift this way and that across the floor. Of course, this is a messy hobby of hers, and occasionally, she needs a regular water bath to clean the dust off...
Thanks for stopping by to meet my little "Bunny-Quail". For those of you out there who don't have the time or resources to raise a tame quail from an egg, Bunny is living proof that a "store-bought" quail can be tamed down to be a darling little pet who enjoys your company and truly looks forward to seeing you... Happy Quails!
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