Bugs Bunny Meets Billy the KidPosted: September 12, 2011
Bill is convinced that the rabbits are winning the landscape war and he really, really wants an air gun. He’s been checking out Sunday ads, window shopping sporting goods stores, and has gone online almost daily, looking for the perfect weapon. He’s checked out rifles, revolvers, pistols, with and without laser sights, semi-automatics, automatics and, probably, air powered bazookas. I’m waiting for the final rabbit attack that will put him over the edge and put a BB gun in his hands.
The latest assault is on an area outside the large picture window of the kitchen breakfast nook. We call it the Kitchen Garden. It’s nestled in the corner created by the nook wall and the garage wall and bordered by the walk from the driveway and up to the front door. It’s the only shady spot on the property and sports a 6-foot by 6-foot garden of pink lady slippers that grow in a profusion of twisty curvy stalks that sprout delicate, tiny pink buds in the summer, three and four foot high agaves, a multi-trunk Madagascar Palm and delicate ground cover. And that’s the draw for the rabbits – the ground cover. It’s like bunny heroin and they have to have it.
Once the garden was finished, it only took about an hour for us to discover that we’d planted a salad bar for rodents, which is why we installed a four-foot high wrought iron fence along the two exposed sides. Things were fine for a month or so until the baby rabbits grew into inquisitive teenagers and discovered they were small enough to squeeze through the two-inch space between the lower vertical fence posts. So we wrapped chicken wire around the bottom half of the fence, securing it every couple of feet with black plastic cable ties.
This worked very well for a couple more months until the teenagers grew quickly into young adulthood and began systematically pushing against the chicken wire until they’d loosened it enough in one spot to slip through. We probably never would have noticed, and ultimately blamed the plant destruction on insects or birds, had we not discovered one of them escaping the confines of the fence when we drove up the driveway after returning from the grocery store. The sound of the garage door opening must have startled it because it took a flying leap and propelled itself between the 3 inch gap in the upper vertical bars, clearing the chicken wire by at least a foot. It looked like Super Bunny minus the cape; it’s front legs stretched forward, it’s furry little super-body horizontal to the ground and its fuzzy rear legs straight as rods stretched backward from his fluffy tail. It arced through the fence, cleared the sidewalk, landed gracefully in the yard amid the prickly pear and barrel cactus, and took off like a rocket to its home in the hedgerow across the street.
“That does it,” Bill shouted, shaking his fist at the fleeing fur ball. “You #!@&! varmint. You’re HISTORY!” And with that, he stormed into the house, forgetting about the melting ice cream and rapidly warming package of chicken breasts and gallon of milk in the back of the car, and headed for our office and his PC. I could swear I heard him calling out as he raced down the hall “To the Internet and beyond,” but I’m sure it was my imagination.