My favorite cartoon character growing up was Bugs Bunny. “Bugsy Pal,” as we used to call him, was a character who always won out. He was shrewd, used guile and no matter the situation that confronted him, always seemed to come out on top by the end of the 10-minute short.
The bunny that is in our backyard is not so beloved or favored. In fact, my wife, who seeks to expand our little corner garden, has made it our mission to dethrone the bunny as the leader of the garden area.
I’ve seen this bunny reckoning of sorts coming for quite some time. This winter, while out back with the dog as she did her business, the bunny was our constant companion. Chelsea would occasionally glance at the phat little beast, as she went about her sniffing routine. Occasionally I would urge her to, “Get da wabbit!” but Chels typically would lope towards the furry creature a few steps before losing interest and resuming her sniffing responsibilities. Chelsea is not of the age anymore whereby a rabbit’s presence would give her fits and starts; she only sees it as a momentary detour to her sniffing duties—she knows Rhonda and I rely heavily on her for that. But so much for the dog helping out in this case of the wayward hare.
I knew once the weather got warmer, Rhonda would be in the garden. Today, that’s exactly where she was. She has done some research and has enlisted me to help her bury some fencing in the ground on the garden’s exterior. The theory goes that if the perimeter walls can be secured from the advances of Bugs’ relative, the wabbit and all of us can live in harmony.
The wabbit is cute
So the rabbit is furry and exceedingly chubby. As humans we are drawn lovingly to such characteristics as long as they’re not found in our offspring. In the case of wild animals such as hares, as long as there is no expectation of things like gardens remaining uneaten by them, they can forever be considered our prosperous, floppy-eared buddies.
In our situation, the garden is intended to provide food for us humans. And humans have a way of coming up with varying solutions to hare-like problems. Someone told me that wabbits are good eating. I think I ate wabbit when I lived in Europe, but if I did, I was in a country where the language precluded my truly comprehending over half of the things I was eating. I was really on the seafood diet—I saw food and I ate it, no matter what it was that anyone put down in front of me, too, like the time I asked for anchovies on my pizza and the waiter brought me a fish stretching the length of the pie—eyes looking up at me like something out of a weird episode of The Adamms Family.
As Chelsea and I sparred nightly with the rabbit, all of these things were going through my mind. I liked rabbits growing up by virtue of Bugs Bunny the cartoon character. I never had a wabbit for a pet like many people sometimes do, but I felt an affinity for our backyard long-eared galoot by virtue of the fact the little shite was so hearty he or she survived a very harsh winter where many others of their ilk probably had not. He or she had survived the previous winter, too, and so has considered the backyard and garden home for the past two years.
I love my wife and want to make sure I do her right when it comes to helping her keep the garden intact and maximizing its yield this season. I know she enjoys being out there, too, and watching her efforts come to fruition with a bountiful harvest later in the season. And I know that won’t be possible, either, should the rabbit get the upper hand in the struggle for garden leader supremacy. But I wish we could all co-exist somehow like we do when gardening season is not going on.
The hare knows we won’t do it harm based on its not really caring when Chelsea and I are outside near it. It’ll scatter when I try to cut its retreat from Chelsea off, but that’s as far as its apprehensions go. This wascally wabbit has no fear.
Rhonda told me before I thought about writing about mine hare that she is planting carrots this year. I felt a chill come over me as I realized the backyard and garden were no longer going to be big enough for all of us. Talk about poking the hare.