One morning a few weeks ago, the Tiger peered out the kitchen window while we were getting breakfast on the table (he no longer says “breskit,” such a shame), and announced: “Mama, there’s some kind of kitty in our yard!”
Obviously my child has been exposed to too many fictional rabbits and Easter bunnies, because he didn’t immediately recognize that “some kind of kitty” was actually somebunny.
So we traipsed outside and watched him. The next morning, the bunny appeared again. And the next. Then, we didn’t see him daily, but he kept coming around – often enough that I realized he’s probably got a burrow in our yard or one of the adjoining ones.
My first thought was: cute cute cute! My next: We need to get some rabbit repellent and sprinkle it around our garden. The local garden store, White’s Mill (great place!), had some powder that’s harmless to all critters but apparently stinky to bunnies. I may be ruthless toward weeds and cruel to ants, but I am not going to hurt a bunny. I know there’s no ethical justification for sparing a creature just because it’s cute, but I have to admit I’m a sucker for cuteness.
For a long time, the rabbit was very well behaved, and so I didn’t bother with the repellent. We saw him munching happily on some of the broadleaf plantain that flourishes in our lawn.
Better yet, he’d hang out around the pea patch but he seemed to be leaving my peas in peace.
I thought we’d reached a perfect symbiosis. Two days ago, the Tiger and I looked out the window and spotted two “some kind of kitties.” (And we all know it won’t stop there! If you look closely at the noses on the two pictures above, you can see that they’re two individuals.) They were both so fearless that they let us get within six feet of them.
My peas were still looking good.
Then, the next morning I checked the rest of the garden and found my lettuce and chard decimated. They’d also beheaded a few of my purple pole beans. The lettuce wasn’t a big loss (it germinated so late that it was probably destined to bolt before the leaves were big enough to pick). But the chard! I sprinkled the repellent around and so far they’ve left the surviving chard unmolested.
My tomatoes, however, are flourishing.