Monday, June 20, 2011

Rabbit Schemes

The rabbit, Chester, has been having a visitor who leaves minuscule droppings about the deck. I was amused by this until I found those tiny droppings peppering the feed tray of the rabbit cage. I asked the rabbit what was going on, but apparently hare-lipped creatures aren't loose-lipped, so I discussed the matter with a neighbor who suggested installing a "bunny cam" so we could track the goings-on between critters. Instead, my children and I researched the feces (mouse) and, much to the amusement of my husband and Jujubee, I set a trap baited with peanut butter. What I would do with the mouse, I really didn't know.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" asked Chester as I carefully lay the cage-style trap near his house.
"Absolutely. Someone's pooping in your food. We can't have that."
"I can work around it," he said, "In fact, I have been working around it quite nicely!"
"Not an option, Rabbit," I stated firmly.
He hopped into the far corner of his cage to clean his ears and sulk. I began to suspect that the mouse was part of an organized movement to free the rabbit, whom we keep in an enclosed environment for his own safety--we have hawks here.

Dudley, temporarily trapped
Just before my bedtime Sunday night, I checked the trap. Inside, trembling, wide-eyed, and absolutely confused, scurried a little brown field mouse. I held the critter's cage up to the light and admired him with my family. His large, floppy ears and shiny, dark eyes reminded us a bit of Desperaux. His white, full belly showed all the signs of a rich and limitless diet of rabbit food. After we discussed a range of options, Jujubee dubbed the critter Dudley and we decided to give the tiny rodent a new station in life altogether. At 11 PM, we drove him  four blocks away in the cover of darkness to a large church and released the beast in a garden there. The newly-appointed church mouse eagerly scurried among mulch and shrubbery to embrace his new career, rabbit-liberating a suddenly very distant thought in his head.

At home, standing sentry on a neighbor's lawn as my step-daughter and I returned with the empty cage, stood   another of Rabbit's associates, a wild cotton-tail with white flecks across his brown body. Surely, we had thwarted some kind of plan. I set the trap one more time in hopes of capturing any siblings that we could take to the mouse's new home and away from scheming with Chester... and pooping everywhere. Checking on our pet bunny early this morning, he refused to speak to me. But after I came home from morning errands, the cage held a new captive. This time, I had managed to capture a chipmunk. Chester sat smugly.

"They'll just keep coming," he said, "I have connections."
"I bet," I mused as I observed this new little friend. He sat smartly striped and fidgeted. I noted that he ate all the peanut butter that last night's mouse could no longer muster an appetite for. Like Dudley, the chipmunk will be released, but back into the yard because the most trouble he ever really causes is eating the fallen fruit from the trees and leaving pits scattered about the sidewalk. I think my job is done and I can replace the trap in its box back in the shed.

Meanwhile, Rabbit will need a Plan B. His last escape attempt, which I stopped when I found him loose and pretending to be a statue on the back deck, only drove him to recruit assistance. I wonder if he'll stoop so low as to involve the dog.

In the meantime, I have received the following message from my husband, who has discovered Dudley's true identity. Read my husband's note below:

As the acting attorney for the defense, I'd like to point out that the evidence directly contradicts the DA's assertion. Not only does physical evidence from Mr. Chester's food tray indicate a single species perpetrator, I can call to the stand one Hilda Mouse, who will tell the court that she engaged the services of my client, Mr. Dick "Chipmunk" Tracy, to locate her missing husband, Mr. Marvin "Mellowtones" Mouse, missing since late yesterday evening, and believed to have been the victim of a foul play. Chipmunk Tracy had traced Mellowtones to a pasty partially hydrogenated platform when he suddenly found himself in the condition represented by the photograph labeled Exhibit A. This is a clear case of entrapment, and we therefore move for immediate dismissal and release. Further, as compensation for his improper detention, we suggest the court provide at least a handful of peanuts (preferably unsalted). The defense rests.


  1. There is a real clever children's story in all of this. A rabbit, fighting for his freedom. A chipmunk, investigating the disappearance of friend. And a mouse, whose insatiable curiosity and determination to liberate an innocent, got him trapped and forced into exile.

    Of course that makes you the evil human woman imprisoning the oppressed rabbit. This rabbit is a symbol to all the other rabbits, like a William Wallace of rabbit-dom. Or more like a Mandela of rabbit-dom, unjustly imprisoned he encourages a furry rebellion among the neighborhood creatures.

    Silently, he resists your attempts to break his spirit, his will is stronger than any cage. In his rabbit mind, he is free.

    Or, he just wants more rabbit chow. };-)

  2. Oh, gosh. That is the best feedback ever. I do hae ideas for projects over the summer... will have to think about this one.


Be kind, be thoughtful. Words travel.

I approve comments and if I am busy, you might have to wait a day or two to see your ideas posted. So sorry for when that happens.