July 12, 2006

Rabbitting on

My suburban home is a wildlife refuge. Of course, there are the boys, feral animals that they are, but additionally every summer our yard teams with creatures. In addition to the raccoon in my bathtub, there have been a number of opossum who have fallen into the window wells to be rescued and set free by Animal Control. I see skunks gamboling on the lawn at dusk. Chipmunks scamper across the patio. Three baby raccoons were born in a nest in one of our chimneys, the chimney which did not have a cap at that time. Once, I saw a pair of coyotes . . . coyotes, in suburban Chicago . . . right on the front curb.

And always, lots and lots of rabbits. I do not garden so I don't think of them as pests. Now that our cat is gone, they are the closest things to pets that we have.

At the moment, we have a burrow at the back of our yard, under the hedge. From the kitchen window, I have a clear view of the family's daily lives. It appears that there is one large one and two smaller ones. It amuses me to imagine a parallel bunny family out there. Our largest annual rabbit visitor is always called One-Ton-Bun. So we think there is One-Ton-Bun and her two bunny boys. The two little ones often play together while their mom placidly eats.

To One-Ton-Bun, maybe we are a source of endless interest: the inhabitants of the human burrow at the back of her yard--a solitary big one and the two smaller ones. "See, children," she tells them. "They are looking at us. The humans are strange, but fascinating."

1 comment:

Roberta said...

You saw coyotes in Skokie!? How could I not know this? Do you remember when I used to chastise you for watching nature documentaries while you were talking on the phone to me? Your voice would drift away and then you would say "Did you know that when giraffes are born they fall six feet to the ground?"