The rabbits press soft slit noses to the wire as the pellets drop into the hoppers. The generator throbs and rattles next to the bank of cages. The cabbage leaves, grabbed and quickly chewed, vanish in minutes. Toes gripping the metal grid under their paws, they preen and groom in the sun that slants into the grimy shed.
Marco has moved on to feed the chickens that scratch and cluck behind the partition. Half a dozen small hens and a miniature cockerel, pecking and strutting in the small space. "
For eating?" I mouth above the din of the generator. Marco nods briefly and continues the daily chore. I know I should be feeling concern for the caged animals. But I can only fix my attention on Marco’s hands as they methodically dole out to the rabbits their only pleasure of the day. He moves with purposeful grace, rhythmically dipping into the sacks, face set as usual, focused on the work.
I don’t want to be free, I muse. I’d rather be Marco’s caged creature: a chicken, a rabbit. Soft, vulnerable, safely imprisoned. So what if the price of daily pleasure is to be subsumed, consumed, eaten….