We spent Sunday working in the yard, and at the end of the evening, I dragged a tarp out into the future garden plot. The plan was to stake the tarp down and let it weaken the thick bermuda grass so that we have more of a chance of cutting through it to start our garden beds. As I was explaining my plan to MB, I noticed some weird fluffy gray stuff on the ground. I scuffed at it with my foot, and it started moving. I instantly knew what was up.
Meet Yard Bunny:
Yard Bunny came around every few days before Indiana moved in, and has been seen several times since Indy's homecoming. And now it seems that Yard Bunny has done her part to uphold the stereotypes about rabbits:
Yard Bunny is either the unluckiest rabbit in the neighborhood and had her babies in a yard that would soon belong to a dog, or she's dumb and had her babies in the yard even though Indy was already here. Either way, we have a nest of small, defenseless infant rabbits in a yard patrolled by a rambunctious dog. And to make matters worse, Indy was with us when we made the discovery, and his instincts were shouting, "I can haz bunneh sammitch?"
We hustled him back inside and hoped that he would forget about the juicy, juicy bunnies, but we knew there wouldn't be much chance of that. He did okay on Monday morning, and even Monday at lunch when he and I were out in the yard. And then, Monday night came around. MB and I let Indy out into the yard (against my better judgement) while we carried out a bunch of wine bottles I saved to recycle from a charity dinner at work.
When I finished with the recycling and went back into the yard, MB was standing in the garden plot, looking grim. "You don't want to come back here," he said. "You should go inside." Oh, God. "Is it dead?" I asked. "No," came the answer. Worse?
No, this was apparently the luckiest unlucky rabbit in the history of rabbits. Indy got one of the babies out of the nest while we weren't paying attention, but he didn't gobble it. He didn't bite it, maim it, pour A1 on it and chow down. He picked it up in his mouth a few times and dropped it, but when I got back there, it was definitely intact. Unfortunately, when a dog picks up a baby rabbit, the baby rabbit screams a high-pitched little scream. So now Indy is pretty sure we are hiding a nest of juicy, juicy squeaky toys in the backyard, and he loves squeaky toys more than any other toys in the whole wide world. Oy.
I tried picking up the tiny rabbit--barely larger than a mouse--with a paper towel, because I didn't want my manky human smell all over it in addition to the lovely aroma of our dog's slobber, but the little thing was so rubbery and limp that I couldn't be sure I was holding it gently enough. I finally abandoned the paper towel and just picked it up. It was so cold I was sure it was dead, but then it moved. I could see its delicate little claws and hamster-like paws. Its eyes were still closed tight, its fur a soft, fine dusting that only covered its top half. I saw the navel on its tiny naked belly. I did the only thing I could think of and tucked the baby back into the nest with the others, and covered the hollow with a handful of cut grass.
Evilducky had given me a good-sized roll of rabbit fence, designed to keep rabbits out of gardens, but it's all we had to put up to keep the rabbits in and the dog out.
This fence was just the thing. Indy has not been able to get at the juicy bunnies again, and when I checked on them after my Pilates class Tuesday evening, a new layer of insulating mama fur had been added to the top of the nest. I was so relieved. And then, as I was stepping over the fence to go in the house, I caught my toe on the top wire and totally bit it. Life really is a comedy.
Reading: The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
Playing: the Decemberists mix I got from Heather Feather