The Rabbit Mystery

My daughter came in the front door, calling, “Mom! Come here! Hurry!” I might’ve panicked, but the tone of her voice hinted at something pleasant. Again, she urged, “hurry!” As I came downstairs, “I said, ‘It’s not something that’s going to get loose in the house, is it?” She and her cousin giggled.

What greeted me were the big eyes and long ears of a huge brown rabbit! She and her cousin, Sydney, had just returned from going to a movie, and as they neared home they saw a rabbit in our country road. They stopped the car and got out and together were easily able to catch the huge rabbit.

Margaret and Sydney with the rabbit they’d just caught.
Wild or Pet?

They immediately started debating whether it was wild, or a dumped pet. It looked just like a wild cottontail. In fact, it looked very much like the stock photo I used on my Favorite Blog Hops page. But it was easy to catch and very plump, making them wonder if it could have been a dumped pet.

Divine Providence?

The funny thing was the timing. Just the night before, Margaret and I had been sitting on our front porch enjoying the sunset, and were reminiscing. About ten years earlier when we first moved to our homestead we had brought two large New Zealand rabbits. During that first year or so, she raised several litters of baby rabbits. One of my favorite memories was when we brought them into the house to doctor their eyes and we had little rabbits jumping all over us. Margaret said she’d like to have a pet rabbit again. I admitted that even I had thought about having a pet rabbit. So now as she said she wanted to keep this one, it was hard to look at those big brown eyes and say no. It seemed possible that God agreed that she needed a rabbit.

Settling In

It was about 10 o’clock at night and I didn’t mind her keeping it, but we had to find some basic supplies. We found a large plastic tub to contain him for the night, and some stainless steel pet bowls to put some food and water in.

When I awoke the next morning, Margaret was already up with the rabbit that she had named “Wiggles.” She was feeding Wiggles some cantaloupe in the den, and apologized if she had woken me up. She said Wiggles had woken her up early by thumping on the tub with his back feet.

Wiggles

Together we looked in our garage for supplies for a temporary litter box. I think most homesteads are like ours in that we accumulate a lot of stuff, stuff that comes in handy at times like these. We found a shallow cardboard box and some cat litter. We even still had the halter that she used with Lucy and Peter, her rabbits ten years ago.

Wiggles seems to be relaxing and making himself at home. He’s hopping around and enjoying the breakfast salad that Margaret made of clover, weeds, and cantaloupe.

Wiggles Eating Breakfast

Margaret looked up domestic rabbit breeds and found one called “San Juan” that looked exactly like this one. It said they were docile and made good pets, and also that they were bred to look like cottontails. She grimaced as she read that they were a popular choice for training hunting dogs, but then laughed at the thought that someone might have been using it for that purpose and she had rescued it.

Wiggles in Margaret’s Lap

We still haven’t solved the mystery, and haven’t tried to determine its gender yet, so for now it’s a “he.” There may possibly be a follow up post later on. As Margaret said, “Of all the things we’ve found in the road, this one is the most mysterious.”

The Rabbit Mystery

 

Spring Garden Surprise ~ A Bunny Tale

Gardening is full of surprises. Many years ago while spring cleaning, I moved some debris within the chives and suddenly my eyes were focusing on some little pink things. My first thought was rats, but then I realized that I was looking at newborn cottontail rabbits.

Carefully, I covered them back up, trying to leave the hidden nest as I had found it. Every day when I was out in the garden I would gently uncover it to see how they were doing, and watched as they grew their hair and began to look more like rabbits.

I couldn’t believe the audacity of mama cottontail who made her nest right smack dab in the middle of my fenced garden! It reminded me of Beatrix Potter’s stories of Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor’s garden.

I never saw the mama rabbit. From reading on the internet, I learned that they visit their young for only a few minutes during dawn and dusk to quickly feed them. Baby rabbits are often thought to have been abandoned because the mother is nowhere in sight, but that usually is not the case. You can watch a YouTube video of a mama cottontail feeding her young here.

One day, as suddenly as I had found them, they were gone. Now every spring when I’m preparing for a new season, I’m reminded of that fun little surprise. Nature is so entertaining!

This post has been shared on some of my favorite blog hops.


 

Spring Garden Surprise