Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Bullet Dodgers

I told you the story about finding my baby bunnies the other day. Remember? They are just so cute. Adorable, in fact. I checked on them several times the day I found them.

The next day I was out with my leaf rake, moving the hedgerow of dead grass I’d removed from my gardens (I kinda fell down on the grass removal job in the record-setting heat last summer) when I heard a weird bird call. Kind of, “Eee. Eee. Eee.”

I didn’t pay much attention, but glanced over that way to see what kind of bird it was. No bird that I could see, but I noticed a collar of some kind around part of the bunny nest.

I didn’t have my glasses on, but it really looked like a collar. Who’d put something like that around a bunny nest? I looked closer.

A black rubber collar with rust on it. Ack! That was no collar. That was a snake. AND HE WAS EATING MY BABY BUNNIES!

G-Man had gone to work, so I whacked that snake with the only thing I had at hand–My leaf rake.

Snakes don’t like being whacked, even on the back with a light leaf rake. Just one smack, and that bad boy came up out of the hole, head first, then the rest of his nine foot long body.

I might be exaggerating a little (probably closer to five feet, since if it was a rat snake, they rarely get longer than that) but he looked nine feet long when he started toward me! I squealed and started to run for the patio when I remembered the baby bunnies.

Poor babies! I just knew he’d go back and make a snack out of them, so I stayed where I was, kind of running in place while I whacked evil snake man again, right on the head. That turned him around. (Thank goodness!)

He ran to the edge of the garden, where he tried to go under the weed barrier fabric. (Imagine trying to work with Mr. Snake crawling around under there. Heebee-geebies anyone?) Since I had a rake with a loooong handle, I pushed him out, and gave him another whack for good measure.

I didn’t kill Mr. Snake. In the back of my mind, I kept hearing my dad tell me he was probably a good snake. (Is there any such thing?) The kind that eat rodents and keep bad snakes chased off the place.

Mr. Snake got away from me. He crawled up into the pyramid-trellis thingy that my over aggressive vine is growing on and hid from me in all that foliage.

Clever snake. I gave the pyramid-trellis thingy wide berth for the rest of the day.

That night it rained. Hard! Do the words, Toad Strangler, mean anything to you? How about Gully Washer? Well, we got a lot of rain!

I wrote on my book yesterday morning before rushing off, but I thought about those babies all day yesterday at work. Did they do okay in the rain storm? Would they have washed out of their hole and been lost, unable to find their way home since their little eyes weren’t even open?

When I got home, I called upstairs to my man, “Have you checked on the babies since you’ve been home?”

“No. Do you think they were able to tread water in that storm last night?” he teased.

“Oh. Don’t even say that.”

I ran out to the garden, and couldn’t find them. At all. They were gone! No hole. No fur. No babies. I was so upset, I couldn’t believe it. Had they been buried alive?

I used my little garden scratcher, hoping mulch had just washed over their nest, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. No babies. 😦

“Gary! Come help me. I can’t find the babies.”

He came out and took the scratcher from me. “Their hole was over this way.”

(Have I mentioned I have a handicap? I’m directionally challenged.)

We He found the babies who, I’m sure, breathed a collective sigh of relief. He moved the mulch and dirt that had washed over their hole and opened it up so Mama bunny could get in and feed them.

I told him I’m sure the Bunny Family would appreciate us so much, they surely wouldn’t eat our garden plants this summer.

“Right.” I think he might have snorted.

To not even have their eyes open yet, the little guys have already dodged two bullets. How cool is that? 🙂