We have, despite our suburb-dwelling ways, what Ali calls “A Friendly Outdoor Pet” named Yard Bunny.

YB can be seen in our backyard, side yard, and occasionally even front yard nearly every single day.

We have a beautiful symbiotic relationship with her – we love watching her, she loves eating our weeds-that-are-pretending-to-be-grass, and she acts as a Yard Roomba for Chris, wacking down the highest of the thistles and briar patches that magically crop up every stinkin’ night.

She’s gotten quite used to us, and will let us all walk within a couple of feet of her.  She stares at us quietly, and I think she likes us a bit.

She doesn’t come without her share of Looney Tunes entertainment, either.  The neighbor’s old, slow, rather paunchy cat enjoys stalking her on a daily basis.  We regularly look out our window to see this scene:

CatAndRabbit copy
You can almost hear the cat declaring that he’s going to catch that Wascally Wabbit, and Yard Bunny simultaneously taunting him with an En Vogue tune..

“No you’re never gonna get it, never never gonna get it…”

Saturday evening, I noticed that YB had been sitting in the same place all day – at the back of our yard in a “natural area”.  Either she was hurt, or, … could it be…?!?!?

I walked over to her, very hopeful.  She seemed a little more ill at ease than usual, in a pounce-like position, spread out over something.

I watched for a second, and at once, all of my hopes and dreams for YB’s future came true: I saw tiny movements under her belly.

I looked back at Chris and quietly cheered.  He knew exactly what that meant.

They couldn’t have been more than a day old, because I’d seen her unencumbered the day before.  And they seemed absolutely microscopic.

I ran in to get my camera and came back out, wishing all the way that I’d taken the time to change to my zoom lens.  Chris was humming something about me being eaten by a Killer Momma Rabbit…

I walked back to her, and she didn’t move, still in her spread-over-her-nest pose:

She watched me, I photographed her, and then, in a bizarrely human act, she lifted up on her front legs, crossed them like arms, and showed me her brood of tiny bunnies.

It took my breath away.

She was proud of her babies!! And she wanted me to see them!!

She’d look at me, then look at her babies.


She even pointed.  Do you see those tiny, tiny, TINY ears?!?!

I was even more frustrated at myself for not bringing my zoom lens, especially due to the fact that it was dusk.  But the moment was so perfect that I tried to just bask in the beauty of our bonding, despite my lack of proper photographical preparation.

After a few minutes (all of which she stood for me to see), I figured I should leave her alone with her newborns.  I ran inside, squealing to Chris, Ali, and Noah that Yard Bunny was so proud of her babies.

Then I remembered what it was like to be a first-time Mom, and I realized what she might have actually been trying to communicate to me when she stood up – “Get these needy leeches off of me!!”

But whether her standing was precipitated by her bursting pride in her beautiful babies or shock and horror over the responsibilities of motherhood (or, more likely, a little of both), I completely understood.


Last night (Two days later), she gave me another peek at her already doubled-in-size babies.  She let me watch her feed them, bathe them, and then tuck them in, at which point they quite literally disappeared underground.  And then she breathed The Sigh of Bedtime Relief.



An update on the bunnies can be found here.

57 thoughts on “Yard Bunny

    1. Good for you!! I’m glad you were there to help it! I saw a neighborhood dog doing a lot worse than mauling a rabbit a few months ago – it was apparently his afternoon snack. Thank goodness he lives a few blocks away!!

  1. Congrats to Mamma Yard Bunny! That’s so cool that you were able to get that close and take pictures! The little Yard Bunny Babies are so cute! :)
    Hopefully that cat will stay away…

    1. Yes, I was really worried about that cat too. Hopefully the hole she keeps them in will keep him off the trail… **fingers crossed**

  2. How sweet! We had a yard bunny at the beginning of spring but he/she disappeared. I don’t want to place blame but I’m thinking the cat we “let” stay here may be the guilty party. It’s also nice to know that sweet bunny mommas have their fill of leechy-ness too! No one is perfect. We are all human! or…ummm…:)

    1. She certainly seems too! Then last night she seemed to be spooked by me watching her through the window from the second floor!! Then I was paranoid. Maybe I just look very imposing from the second floor!

  3. How very precious! What pure joy your writings bring. And what a welcome relief to read of the compassion of loving mothers (human and otherwise) after living the last two months in the horror of the culmination of three years of unspeakable tragedy perpetrated by a mother who didn’t want to be one.

    Thank you for bringing tears of joy to a grandmother who knows that, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

  4. Love the pics! I showed them to Jackson and he wanted to know where the baby bunnies daddy was. I told him that he was at work!

  5. Amazing, how the wonders of God are found in nature. All mommies are proud of their babies. Wonderful post and amazing pictures. It really uplifted me.

  6. Breathtaking! Rabbits are my favorite animal! What a magical experience!

    p.s. I’m sure you know this, but don’t touch the babies. Putting human scent on them can make the mommy go a little wacko.

    1. Yes! I’m resisting temptation, as hard as it is! I haven’t even been out to their hole unless the Mommy bunny is there. Although after this storm, I’m going to feel the need to check on them. Resist!! Resist!!!

  7. Oh my gosh! What a special moment you had. And to be able to capture that with your camera is incredible!

    Hehe, it’s so adorable how the mother rabbit was showing you her bunnies! Too cute!

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  8. How cool was that! The only wildlife I’ve seen in our yard lately has been snakes, which I prefer not to get very up-close and personal with!

  9. Cute! The internet is FOR cute animal pics if you ask me… :)

    (Still I can’t help wondering how many bunnies you might have as they multiply and multiply… they’re a major pest in Australia and New Zealand, but probably not so much where you are.)

  10. Oh my goodness, that’s just amazing! We right next to a deer and elk migration route, and often see them hanging out around the house, but haven’t managed to make one into a special yard pet (yet).

  11. I’ve been a long-time lurker on your blog, but those bunnies are just so adorable, I couldn’t help but leave a comment :) Even without your zoom lens your pictures look great! Very cool how the Momma Bunny let you take a peek at her babies.

    1. Thanks for saying hi! I love hearing from readers for the first time!!
      It was an amazing moment – one that I’ll never forget for sure!!

  12. Wow! This is an amazing post! I teared up while reading it & then felt silly for getting teary over a bunny but it’s like y’all were communicating in a universal language of mothers.

    I know that sounded super hippy so I’ll blame my own pregnancy hormones lol. Thanks for warming my heart on this sleepless night :)

  13. Congrats, Mama Yard Bunny!

    Rachel, what a beautiful experience, captured.

    (Grateful we human mamas don’t have “litters”.)

    1. Yes, so true. I always thought it would be the epitome of wonderousness to have twins – until I had one baby. I quickly realized that twins were not for me – or I was not for twins. I don’t have that kind of stamina!

  14. This is so great! I can’t believe you can get so close to her.
    We get bunnies in our yard too sometimes. We call them all “Steve”.
    It’s just a funny joke between hubs and myself because we think of Steve as a manly name and bunnies are so NOT manly. . .anyway. We can’t get NEAR as close to ours and have yet to see any baby Steves. So, thanks for sharing yours with me!

  15. We have a yard bunny family too! Yesterday when I was cutting the TALL grass in the backyard I disturbed a baby bunny. He was quite disoriented. I actually had to pick him up and move him so I could finish the yard. I call the big bunny “Jack” but I’m now guessing that he may be more of a “Jill”

    1. That’s so cool! Must be a neighborhood thing. Thanks for saving the baby bunny. I haven’t seen our babies since I wrote about them – maybe they moved across the street to get away from their Mom? Teenage Rebellion probably starts early in bunnies…

  16. That is just so amazing! Love that she trusted you like that :)

    All we get around here are deer that the crazy gelding Joey chases. Loads of fun to watch them jump the fence and leave him scowling after them.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures and the story… just WOW.

  17. Hi. I was searching online, curious why there is a beautiful little bunny in my back yard every night. It seams that he/she stays in the same spot. We have a dog. He does not like anything with four legs. I KNOW that this is the reason why Bunny comes only at night. I smile a lot. He nibbles the grass , when he doe not pays attention to the noise around. I hope that he will keep coming. I love watch him :)

  18. Hi,I too have a yard bunny i have been taken care of him since june. He was so tiny when we first saw him , he stays under the shed in my backyard and comes out the same times every day. Sometimes he will sit in the same position for hours. I make him a little dish of fruits and vegetables every night. And recently added rabbit pellets. We call him a him because we dont know if its a boy or a girl. My husband and I love watching him, I talk to him and he seems to listen.. I can get a few feet away from him. I live in NY and we have a blizzard coming this weekend, and Im so worried about him. I hope he is ok. Will put extra hay under the shed for him. We named him chewy. We are having so much fun with him or her!

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