Yard Bunny

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

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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:

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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:
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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.

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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.

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

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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.


Epilogue

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.

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An update on the bunnies can be found here.