The Bunny Whisperer

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.

Marshmallow.

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.

Chester

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.

Carry on.

(Had to close comments on this one early, due to nasty Spam)


January 22, 2010

9 Responses to The Bunny Whisperer

  • Really? You had to go to the empty nest thing and make us all weepy.

    Nurse five minutes a day and then go off on your own all day, can I jump species?

    Just Kidding. I love my little bunnies.

    Even though they are growing up too fast! (I love that Fiddledaddy cared so much! You should remember that one!)

  • Wow, I guess I never thought about how bunnies got here. Very cute 🙂

  • My dad is a softie like Fiddledaddy. When I was a child, he accidentally mowed up a rabbit’s nest with his bushhog. (My dad’s a farmer.) I don’t remember if there were causuaties or not as he would never have told us, but he brought home two unharmed baby bunnies. He assumed the mother would not come back for the babies since her nest was destroyed. So, he brought them to us. We named them Mork and Mindy (after our favorite tv show at that time!) and raised them until they were fully grown! They drove my mom crazy hopping out of their crate all the time! It was so much fun and we loved them so much. We fed them milk through a dropper at first and added veggies later. I remember the day we released them to the wild. We were so worried they wouldn’t figure things out, but I think they did! I’m sure your kids will remember Chester and Rose just as I remember Mork and Mindy like it was yesterday. Sweet memories!

    •••••••••••••••••••••
    From my extensive research, I learned that it is VERY unlikely for wild bunnies to survive out of their nest! My dad was the same way. He is still a softy with all animals. 🙂

    DeeDee

  • My dad was famous for bringing home animal babies. He worked construction and they were forever digging up babies! We’ve done cottontails, jackrabbits, dozens of birds and even a few tiny turtles. My favs were the pigeons who refused to leave and lived in our garage, flying out each morning, back again at night. We had the last one for 3 years. That dang bird guarded the mailbox from the advances of the evil mailman!

  • They are so cute!!! Even I would have brought them in, and I am a hard case, let me tell you.

  • So sweet….our dog found a nest in our yard last year…however, I did not research on the internet about the mama bunny and was nervous when I never saw her around so I drove them up to the Wildlife Hospital…in our case this was probably good thing because I saw a big snake in our yard that same afternoon. So glad your little bunnies are getting big and doing well…

  • Aren’t baby *baby* bunnies the sweetest things ever?! They’re so adorable when they just start to get their fur and their ears are so tiny! We had no idea how different newborn bunnies looked from what we expected until our rabbits had babies many years ago.They were just so cute we(ok,I may be the only one in my family who still talks about them 8 times a year)can’t stop talking about it(obviously!). 🙂

  • So happy to see you with animals that don’t totally stalk you!

    They are sooooooo cute 🙂 I want to snuggle one )

    As far as my empty nest, I am about a year and not so many months away from Kati going to Design School in San Fransisco.

    Expect continual flooding in Central Oregon. folks. I’m just warning you now ….