Backyard Bunny
Inside the Outdoors, June 23,

There’s an old saying about taking time to smell the roses. Well, I’m going to change that a bit and rephrase it to state, “taking time to watch the bunny.”

It so happened I had opened our back residence door to take out the garbage. Looking around, I happened to spot a rabbit in our back yard. Upon seeing me, you’d think it would have taken off and run, but just the opposite occurred.

My ‘four-legged friend’, who I’ll call Milette, proceeded to dig a hole in my yard. Stopping, she looked around momentarily and then hopped in my direction, not all at once, but short jumps and stops. Standing perfectly still I studied the characteristics of the animal.

At times Milette was motionless, trying to sense what was going on around it, I suppose. Even though its body was still, its nose never stopped moving. Standing on its hind legs looking to the left, and then to the right, it lowered itself to all fours and continued to head in my direction. I sensed it was on a mission and my presence had nothing to do with its goal.

Stopping at a clump of grass, she proceeded to nose down near the roots of the blades. I thought it had found a feeding spot, but no, Milette kept all it bit off at ground level. For a period of time she stuffed her mouth as full as she could. Sitting up, she turned and sat still one moment. Then oddly enough, Milette stood straight up on her hind legs looking all around. Since I was looking at her from behind, it looked as though she had whiskers growing out on either side of her nose. It was surely a sight to behold.

Milette then lowered herself and scampered over to the place of origination. Taking the grass that she had chewed off, she deposited it in the hole and patted it down with her two front feet. Then she returned in my direction. And had plans to do the same.

I, on the other hand, had other ideas. I’d didn’t mind providing feed for this visitor who squeezed between the fence slats to find my yard to her liking. But to chew off small section of my lawn leaving unsightly holes was not my idea of a good neighborly gesture.

So, I proceeded to walk slowly closer to Milette just to see if she would finally get the drift that I was watching her every move. At one point, I must have frightened her, because she ran right for a small hole leading to the alley in our back yard and squeezed out.

Since my son dropped his dog off for a three-week stay, I really doubt I’ll see Milette so soon again.

It was an education, though.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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