Emme discovered a small bunny hole in our back yard by stepping on a tiny bunny. While wearing my favorite furry boots. (Faux fur, btw.) She heard a loud squeal, and picked up the baby bunny and came to show her daddy. The bunny was fine, and she and her daddy backtracked and discovered the little nest. The tiny bunny was placed back into his nest along with another tiny sibling.
I heard all of this second hand, as I didn’t even know that my favorite furry boots were missing from my closet and that they had been compromised.
Later that night, we heard news that we were expecting a very hard freeze. Extremely unusual in this neck of the woods. Fiddledaddy came to me after the children were out of earshot, and said that he thought he should go and get the baby bunnies and bring them indoors to escape the arctic temperatures.
My task was to procure a plastic box with a lid that allowed for air. I dumped some Polly Pockets on the floor, along with their assorted tiny accessories and brought him the makeshift bunny hut. Replete with soft cotton bedding.
He sneaked out of the house through the garage, went to the side gate, and then walked around the entire house to get to the bunny nest. He wore black and carried a flashlight, so as to not alert the children.
I awaited screams from the neighbors, my dialing finger poised over the telephone buttons.
Silently he stole back into the house through the garage, and placed the bunnies in a safe spot up high in the laundry room. The laundry room is right next to the children’s rooms.
No. The children will never know. UNLESS the bunnies begin screaming for their mommy.
I began to wring my hands, worrying about baby bunnies starving to death in my laundry room. Fiddledaddy assured me that they’d be fine. But I hurried to my computer to look up how to care for baby bunnies.
The data was all the same. LEAVE THE BUNNIES IN THEIR NEST. DO NOT INTERFERE WITH BABY BUNNIES. DO NOT BRING THEM INDOORS.
Oh no. We were destined to be baby bunny murderers. Well. Fiddledaddy anyway. It wasn’t MY idea. I also read further and as it turns out, a mommy bunny only nurses her babies for approximately 5 minutes a day. Then she takes off to go have coffee with other mommy bunnies, and get in a little shopping while her offspring snooze.
I also uncovered research which stated that a mommy bunny has been known to return to her nest every night for up to a week to look for her missing baby. And here’s where I quote, “Do not take the baby from the mom or she will be frantic.”
I couldn’t take it. I was ready to brave the elements and return the babies to their rightful nest right then and there. But Fiddledaddy assured me that he would return them at daybreak. I slept very fitfully, certain that I heard mommy bunny scratchings at our window. True to his word, Fiddledaddy took them back before the children arose and discovered the bunnies under their own roof.
At one point, I looked at these tiny creatures, with eyes closed, no fur, and ears laid back, and I questioned whether they were really bunnies.
I suspected tiny mice. Which freaked me out a little.
We watched the nest from the safety of my son’s bedroom window. A few days later, we all quietly traipsed through the yard to check on them. Wearing gloves so that the mommy would never be the wiser.
They were growing, their bellies were full, and their eyes were open. They were christened Chester and Rose.
A few days after that, we check again, and they were becoming very active. Too active. We decided that we should not be giving them a taste of freedom too soon. Now we must be content to watch from the safety of the window.
Soon, very soon, we know that we will look out the window, and see an empty hole where our baby bunnies once lived. And there will be many tears to dry. Probably from the children as well. It is hard to let go.
I have a suspicion that Fiddledaddy may use our bunny hole as an excuse to avoid mowing our frostbitten dead grass. For the duration of the year.
Not unlike how I will keep my children’s rooms just as they are, long after they leave me with an empty nest.
Sob. Sob. Just step over me folks. Nothing to see here. It’s just the hormones.
(Had to close comments on this one early, due to nasty Spam)