Sid wasn’t expecting to find what he did on a walk through the woods in England. A few years ago, the photographer was just out strolling in the forest, when he stumbled upon something while avoiding stepping on a puddle.
He caught the site of a rooted stone.
At first, he thought he hit a rock, but after a closer inspection, he realized that it was a tombstone. Tiny and moss-covered, the rock was layered was littered with dead leaves and grass.
Saunders decided that it was quite sad that the tombstone was so overlooked, so he decided to clean it up a little bit. He cleared the leaves and grass and as he read the date, Saunders recognized that the grave was 130 years old.
“I made a point of going back the next day and cleaned it up, plus the area around it,” Saunders said.
He wanted to clear it up more and was curious about who was buried there. But little did he know, the tombstone was actually for a pet rabbit that passed away in 1882.
“In memory of the little Duchie,” the headstone read, with a rabbit carved out next to the letters in the stone. “Born August 1869. Died December 1882.”
At first, he thought the tombstone was for a dog, but there was a small carving of a rabbit right next to the “little”.
“I was gobsmacked!” Saunders said. “When I went back and cleaned it up, I saw the little carving of a rabbit and realized that [he must have been] a Dutch breed rabbit.”
Bunnies can live for a decade and longer if they are well taken care of. Fortunately, little Duchie seems to have lived with the best family for he lived for 13 years. They even got him a tombstone after he passed away, this just shows how much Duchie’s owner loved him.
“[He] must have been well looked after to live so long,” Saunders said.
According to Sanders, the land where the tombstone lied was a private estate in the 1800s. The rabbit could have possibly belonged to the owner of the land or whoever had lived there during the time. Known as the Marline Wood, the part of the woods is quite popular among people who like walking and taking pictures in the forest.
Even though Little Duchie’s life is quite a mystery to us, one thing that is very apparent is how much his family loved him.
Fortunately, Saunders found the grave and now Duchie can be loved once again, 130 years later.
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