Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Do Not Disturb

I mowed the lawn last night. The grass is a disturbing combination of almost equal parts soft green and wiry brown. I’m hoping the recent rains will even out our yard’s complexion.

Near one of the pine trees I found a patch of dirt. It looked like more damn chipmunk damage. I kicked at the soil until I got to the grass beneath it. I continued to scrape at the pile until I saw more grass than dirt. Then I continued mowing.

It wasn’t until I swung the mower around for a second pass that I noticed the wiggling of little legs. I had planted a baby bunny’s head into the ground when I moved the dirt with my foot. The poor thing’s hind legs were kicking desperately in the air. I ran to the garage to get a box and towel. When I got back to the baby bunny the wiggling had slowed significantly. I pulled the bunny out and noticed it was bleeding.

That’s when I saw the other six babies.

I know that I should have left them alone, but I wanted to make sure the others weren’t injured. I pulled them all out of their hole and put them on the towel in the box.

Of course I had to show the girls. You can guess what the first thing out of Allie’s mouth was. Her Can we keep them? was quickly dismissed. She did notice the blood on the bunny that I tried to plant. I was honest and told her I didn’t expect it to survive. She didn’t seem upset. There were far too many other sightless, barely fuzzy babies squirming around in the box for her to focus on the plight of one bloodied baby.

I wish I could be as easily distracted.

I felt awful about harming the bunny. It was struggling to breathe and barely moving when I got around to returning all the bunnies to their hole. I knew it was going to die but I thought I’d let the bunny’s mother deal with my rabbicide. I arranged the babies as best I could, keeping the dying one to the rear of the pile, in contact with, but not buried by, its brothers and sisters.

I looked to the Web for information about this type of situation and it seems I did the right thing.

I won’t be checking on the baby bunnies’ progress. I don’t want to know if the little one I made bleed survived. I’ll just continue to look out the window at that spot in the yard and hope I’m not a murderer.

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