"Raising a kid is part joy and part guerrilla warfare."
~Ed Asner

Thursday, April 15, 2010

One Of Life's Little Tradegies

We have a garden in our backyard.  I use the term garden loosely.  Three years ago we started a small garden in our backyard.  Two years ago our garden was more of a compost pile for whatever we threw out there, including a ginormous rotting pumpkin in the fall.  Last year we had an accidental pumpkin patch that threatened to overtake our yard and the neighbors yard behind us.  This year is the first year I've been healthy enough to make an attempt at the garden; nothing too spectacular.  It's not a huge garden.  It's a suburb garden.  Kris borrowed a rototiller from his Grandpa so he could make it a workable garden for me.  He started working on it on Monday.  Yesterday he went out to finish with the rototiller and was horrified to find that he had completely obliterated a Mama Rabbit's home and almost all of her babies.  There were four babies.  Two were dead and one was well on it's way out.  It's leg was all bent up and it was scooting around in circles.  The fourth one appeared fine.

We put both of them in a box and covered them with what was left of their nest while we figured out what to do.  Both of them had fur and could open their eyes.  But they were only a couple of ounces and they still had a white stripe on their forehead, which means they're too young to leave the nest and, more importantly, their mama.  I felt so bad for the baby bunnies.  I told Kris he should put the one that wasn't going to make it out of it's misery but he couldn't do it.  (He changed him mind later, but when he went out to take care of the bunny, it's leg appeared better and the bunny was hopping around so he left it alone.)  I didn't know where to put them because their nest was gone and the garden was now flat.  So being the complete dork that I am and also being a lover of animals, I found out what vet in my area deals with wildlife and gave them a call.  I left them a message and continued to keep vigil over the sweet, baby bunnies.  If wild bunnies didn't get so stressed to the point of keeling over when taken in as a pet or even given to a wildlife rehabilitation center, I totally would have kept them.  On the other hand, if I was the Mama rabbit I would be very upset and hunt down the humans who destroyed my home and took my only surviving baby.  

My brother Seth makes these animated videos featuring killer rabbits.  I think they're weapons of choice are usually guns or machete's.  What if rabbits really did live like the mafia; exacting revenge on anyone who hurt them or their family?  I mean, we have a fenced in yard and we have Dakota, which is why we were surprised to find the rabbit's burrow in the first place.  As soon as the fence went up, they disappeared.  They all congregate on the other side of the fence in the neighbors yard.  They usually taunt Dakota and throw carrots at him.  But one Mama thought she was safe.  She thought her home would be safe.  She thought her babies would be safe and protected in the depths of our massive compost pile...er, garden.  But she was wrong.  Would she come back at dusk or dawn to check on them?  When she discovered her mangled, dead babies and churned up home would she call for the capo di tutti capi ("boss of all bosses") and ask him to do something?  Would we wake up to find hundreds of rabbit's overtaking our property and home, destroying everything that is precious to us?  Would Dakota finally decide to get off his sleepy butt and protect us?  I mean they did make fun of him and throw carrots at him.  I think Dakota and the Beast would be able to hold them off long enough for us to make our escape, but we would be marked; hunted for the rest of our lives.  Thankfully, I'm pretty sure killer rabbits only exist in our imaginations.  And so far, we haven't seen any signs of killer rabbits.  

The vet I called returned my message later that day and told us to do exactly what we had been planning to do.  We dug a shallow hole where the old nest used to be and put what was left of the nest in it along with some grass.  Then we put the baby bunnies in the nest hoping that their mama would come at dusk.  We were hoping she would find them and move them to a new nest.  Unfortunately, the babies didn't make it.  When Kris got home from work he went to check on them and discovered that they had left their nest and were lying lifeless in the yard.  I was sad.  Izzie asked me why I was sad, and I told her that the other two bunnies didn't make it.  I asked her if she wanted to name the bunnies.  Of course she said yes and already knew what she wanted to name them.  

Princess, Prince, Chewbacca, and Bean.          

P.S.  Kris feels really bad that he killed four helpless, baby bunnies and is showing great signs of remorse.

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