Anna was eight years old during the bunny experience. She was also whining regularly about it not being fair that the boys knew about the birds and the bees and she didn’t. I told her that when the time was right, I would tell her.
Finally, on an especially lousy day, I said screw it. I experienced a true moment of temporary insanity. I literally mean sixty seconds. I simply let all of the bunnies out of their cages. Eeeeek does not cover it. I knew during the act of freeing the last bunny that it was a horrible mistake and that I would have to pay for it in unimaginable ways.
They hopped around madly in the yard. It was what one might term a bunny fest. You know what happened. More than a dozen sex crazed bunnies that had been eying each other from nearby hutches for months, went mad.
After an initial romp, they backed up and regrouped and formed a bunny train. I didn’t panic. I froze as I watched them, it didn’t matter if it was brother and brother, mother and daughter…they just piled on top of each other in their train bound for glory. The only possible downfall was being the caboose.
Meanwhile, Anna was laughing and shrieking. "What are these bunnies doing? They’re being so silly!”
The word silly echoed. The fantasy of them fleeing into the woods vanished into the reality of the situation. I bit my fingernails and watched the humping frenzy before deciding that it was okay to attempt to formulate words. “Anna?” I swallowed. “You know how you always ask me about the birds and the bees?”
I needed to catch them. I thought that the foxes and other predators (unfortunately that included the neighbor’s pit bulls and rotweilers) would get them. Where were they when I needed them?
I felt an odd responsibility for those who tormented me while they hopped around the yard just out of reach. Just when we thought I was done messing up with the bunnies, I managed to escalate the situation. I left food out for them. Why that is such a bad thing? I will tell you.
They were pretty, a brownish color in the spring and summer and white in the winter. (We had them around that long). For them it was paradise. The few bunnies that we never caught lived well outside, mingling and doing the train thing blissfully with the wild bunnies.
We sort of got used to bunnies being everywhere. Even my cat Felix often fell asleep on the deck with baby bunnies snuggled into him and he didn’t care. They were like lawn ornaments perched on the steps, the railings and stonewall. They dotted the lawn like bunches of wildflowers.
I told my neighbors – real natives, a lost art form – that they could help themselves to the bunnies. They came to our farm and caught many of them. When I realized that a neighbor captured a wild rabbit, I insisted that she release it.
It was a victorious day when we saw the last of the bunnies. Yes, they are the silent types, but don’t be fooled.