Monday, April 16, 2007

The One-Bunny Lesson

After dinner Saturday night something caught our attention running very fast in the yard. It was a rabbit. The night before we had watched two large bunnies eating the tall grass beneath the bird feeder (pictured above), so we knew the bunnies were back. But Saturday evening's bunny was much younger, much smaller. A skinny little stretched-out thing that was tearing around the yard like it was trying to find a way out. It ran along the fence. It ran around the bird feeder. It ran hither and yon. It ran back to the fence. Everywhere we looked, this little bun was running for all it was worth. The cat was watching from the house, quite frantic to get into the yard. The bunny seemed just as frantic to find its way out of the yard.

I tried to take my attention off of it. I looked away. I had practiced this same avoidance behavior Thursday night at dusk when a single, young quail appeared separated from its covey. It too ran along the fence back and forth, back and forth, in what looked like abject despair and desperation. Roger said it would probably make some distress call that would be answered by its family. We assume that must have occurred because it soon disappeared into the woods.

So, I looked away from this distressed bunny. I made myself believe it would find its way out, just like it had found its way in. But there it was again flitting across my field of vision. Now running by the door off the sunroom, next running by the mock cherry tree. Then back to the fence. The cat ran from window to door to window again to watch. The poor rabbit was running everywhere, and it looked anxious to flee. I knew I had to go out and help it. My plan was to go along the fence and prop up a bit of the "rabbit-proof fencing" to let the little hapless hopper go. Roger, of course, thought I was crazy, but offered to accompany me on my chore. He both loves and humors me.

When we opened the door, we saw the bunny run. I just hoped we wouldn't scare it into doing something reckless (run into the jaws of a coyote or bobcat, what else?). Poor scared bun. But then we saw another little rabbit, And then another. Suddenly we were aware that there were in fact three identical lanky lopers crossing the yard every which way like some crazy cartoon playground. We hadn't be watching one scared and manic bunny, but three wild exuberant things. They were playing like kids pumped up on adrenaline. They hopped, ran, zigged and zagged their way across the yard, chasing each other without a care in the world. When they arrived at the fence this time, they hopped right through it with absolute ease. And once on the other side, I assume, they resumed their bunny antics.

We had a really good deep laugh about those rabbits, but even more about how completely wrong I could be. Roger suggested that I add how completely wrong we both could be. Don't you just love him?

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