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Down the Rabbit Hole

CHERYL TEVIS 05/21/2013 @ 11:45am Cheryl has been an editor at Successful Farming since 1979.

Spring definitely had arrived in 2012. Thanks to the unusually warm days of March and April, my landscape and flower gardens were in an advanced state of readiness.

I set out impatiens, as usual, by the backyard gate. After a week or so of watering, they came into their own. Soon they were in full bloom. A day or two later, to my dismay, there was little left of their delicate blossoms.

A few feet away, I had planted moss rose for the first time in several years. One day, I saw that its small, fleshy leaves had been gnawed to the quick.

I was excited to see my new summer bulbs sprout. Before long, the shoots had been nibbled away.

I bought an animal repellent spray at the garden center, but it didn't seem to curtail the feasting. Next, I tried a powder form that was a little more effective.

By mid-May, one thing was clear: It was going to be me against the critters.

Then one night, I was sleeping soundly when I heard a strange noise in the upstairs of the house. My husband, Stan, heard it, too. As he got up to check on it, I murmured, "It sounds like it's coming from the bathroom."

Before long, I heard him go down the stairs. I was drifting back to sleep when he returned. I thought that I heard him say there was a rabbit stuck on the sticky trap in the bathroom.

Surely not! I didn't believe there was an atom of meaning in it. It must be a dream.

Meanwhile, by the light of day, out in the garden, I was waging a daily battle to save my tender bulbs and buds. There was little rain to wash away the repellent, but I wasn't taking any chances. I applied more powder for good measure.

Wake me when it's over

A couple of days later, I was upstairs, getting ready for our daughter to return home from college for the summer. I carried an item to a bedroom down a dimly lit hallway. Just before opening the door, I dodged a dirty sock on the floor. When I came back into the hall, I stopped to pick it up. Suddenly, I froze in my tracks, staring at the shadowy, motionless form. What if it weren't a sock?

I waited until Stan came into the house. "Could you come and look at something in the upstairs hallway?" I asked. He confirmed my suspicions: It wasn't a sock. I could have sworn that he said it was a rabbit. No way!

A day or two later, I was tidying up the living room. When I bent down to move the ottoman, my eye fell upon something on the floor between the ottoman and the chair. Was it a dust bunny or a bunny that had bit the dust? Stan calmly removed the recently deceased.

This just had to be a bad dream!

The next day, when I came home, Stan told me to make sure that the mudroom door was tightly closed. He was certain he had seen a bunny hop in the mudroom. It disappeared down the basement stairs.

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