Worth the price of admission

I cried, “Nooooo!” as she hopped toward the clump of spring cheer.

She’s either deaf, defiant or just plain hungry. One nip and the stemmed tulip rotated from vertical to horizontal. Within seconds, the greenery became rabbit fuel and the blossom laid next to lucky rabbit feet. In time, she ate the blossom too.

This story is a bit of a mixed bag….

Last Saturday, my husband set to work removing under-performing, decades old bushes near our front door. He inserted the shovel and sliced through an intact root system. Circling the bush with the spade, he was surprised by baby bunnies crawling around his feet. He’d disturbed a well concealed nest. Oh—ohhh….

With gloved hand and gentle movements, he replaced two long ears into the fur lined hole. A third lay supine inside the small burrow. He covered the nest with displaced mulch and went off to find a different Saturday job.

All day we peeped through sidelight windows flanking our front door. What’s gonna happen next? we wondered.

There was a combined sense of relief the following day when Mother Rabbit was seen loitering around our front stoop.

For several days now, I’ve been on bunny watch.

The experience is worth an entire thicket of tulips, although to the best of my knowledge, momma bunny’s only eaten the one. A dutiful mother, she spends much of her days underneath the barberry bushes or lounging on our verdant spring lawn. Her fur is blown this way and that by persistent breezes and her jaws never seem to stop moving.

And here’s the mixed bag part…

I feel like I’m telling on the creature…and my husband. How interesting!

The supine baby must have been injured or killed by the slice of the shovel’s blade. One morning I looked out to see Mother Rabbit chewing and swallowing her own child. From what I’ve been able to find, instinct likely drove her to eat the dead kit so that its smell wouldn’t attract predators to the nest.

She’s really a very good mother. Her antics have grabbed my attention and heart.

The other two kittens are growing quickly and I expect they’ll be out of the den and sampling tulips within a week.

I hope I’m home to catch the show!


What’s happening outside your windows?