Monday, July 05, 2010

Survival of the dimmest

A few weeks ago, we noticed a rabbit digging a burrow in the middle of our front lawn.  We thought we had scared it away, because surely, two seven year old boys trying to pet the rabbit would scare any small mammal.  But then two days ago, D. comes screaming into the house that there were baby rabbits in the front yard.  Being the kind and understanding mother that I am, I, of course didn't believe him.  (See sentence no. 2, above, for my reason.)  When A. came in, close on D.'s heels, and confirmed the presence of the rabbits, I started to pay attention.

While I have never actually seen the five baby bunnies, enough of my older, reliable children have seen them that I now believe in their presence.  B., in fact, spent 45 minutes yesterday, luring baby bunnies out of their burrow with basil leaves.  I think that we must be host to a particularly un-rabbity kind of rabbit.  These rabbits don't run when approached by people, even if those people are 7 year old boys.  And it's obvious that our town is singularly lacking in the predator-types of animals.  The huge murders of crows we used to have were decimated by West Nile Virus a few years ago and are only now starting to reappear.  And while our library has a pair of peregrine falcons nesting on it and I have seen a fox crossing the street, there are obviously too many rabbits for these lonely predators to handle.  I mean, why else would a mother rabbit build her burrow in a front yard, with no cover what so ever, in grass that is mowed regularly and is home to many, many small children?  And the baby bunnies aren't even completely underground.  If you look closely at the burrow, you think you are seeing just dirt and leaves.  And then the dirt and leaves move and you realize you are looking at baby bunny fur instead.  It is remarkable camouflage, but my mothering instincts have gone on high alert for the safety of the bunnies which for all intents and purposes are just lying on the ground.  I don't like the rabbits eating up our garden, but I also don't like the thought of something happening to the bunnies while they are living in (on?) my front lawn. 

Did you notice, rabbits for the grown-up garden-eating animals, but bunnies for the cute, soft defenseless babies?

2 comments:

Lucy said...

Why would a mother rabbit burrow and birth babies in a fenced yard regularly patrolled by two Rhodesian Ridgebacks?

That story didn't end so well, for the bunnies, though one dog had an extra nice dinner and I got to explain natural selection to the kids.

The Moreno Family said...

Hi there,
I am a former student of Jud's, he told me about your blog while you were bringing home your youngest son (I was in his class at that time). I've followed your blog ever since because I adore your beautiful family and I LOVE the parenting insight that you offer. I've never posted before because I feel a little creepy since I don't know you, but the baby bunnies topic forced my hand.


I got a good laugh out of your amazement at the mama rabbit's selection of your yard. Last spring a rabbit made a nest for her 9 baby bunnies in the middle of our backyard, of all places directly beneath our swingset. And she didn't even bother to dig - they nested right in the grass. We have 3 kids, 2 of which were big enough to play in the yard. And we regularly have many other neighborhood children in our yard, as well as our 80 lb golden retriever. NONE of this bothered those bunnies. The kids and dog would walk right up to them and they wouldn't budge. The dog (thankfully) left them alone. They stayed there for over 2 weeks - we were completely amazed.

Enjoy your bunnies!

Angela

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