Myxomatosis has hit the village rabbits with a vengeance .
It's a terrible terrible disease.
The affected rabbits suffer rapid weight loss, lesions and tumours over their faces and genitals and die a painful death after respiratory complications set in only fourteen days after being infected by host fleas. Only perhaps 35% of the population will survive.
Albert usually drags in baby rabbits during the spring months and even he has stopped feeding on the field. It's as though he knows the animals are tainted and like the sad zombies on The Walking Dead the dying crouch feebily on the sides of the lane and road waiting to die.
At the bottom of my field, isolated by thick brambles, a small enclave of young rabbits remain seemingly healthy and playful.
I watched them this morning, playing together in the dawn sun.
I hope they survive this outbreak, but things do look rather bleak