In order to truly enjoy this particular story, you must have experience with Elmer Fudd and his rabbit (wabbit) hunting escapades. In particular, the “What’s Opera, Doc?” episode.
My wife plants a very modest garden every year. It produces just enough vegetables to get sick of having those vegetables by the end of the season. In the past her garden has kicked out squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and carrots.
To paint the picture with a bit more detail, we live in Suburb, USA at the end of a cul-de-sac. The garden measures approximately one foot by ten feet and is located along one side of our driveway. One faulty move of the steering wheel while exiting the garage and we can lose half of the year’s crop to tire tracks. It’s hard to keep tire tracks out of your garden all season long—pesky little critters. The garden may be small, but it brings my wife joy. So when asked, I’ll continue to walk around the house to turn on the hose so that she can water her precious plot of land.
One year, she attempted to grow carrots. The soil conditions in our neighborhood are quite poor. If you dig down any further than five inches, you’ll hit a mixture of clay and contracted home builder’s yard waste. You know, random pieces of wood, screws, caulk tubes, and pop cans. It’s amazing that she can get anything to grow at all. The carrots that year were hysterical. They grew downward, as a good little carrot should, and then hit the clay. Since they couldn’t push through the clay, the only thing they could do was to grow outward and plump up. She grew “carrot balls” that year. I didn’t even know that there was a distinction between male and female carrots.
So, the carrots were a no-go. Scratch the carrot balls. After all, they probably itch. (Alright, enough ball references.) How about beans? One year my dear wife and her green thumb planted beans. The beans were looking good until the rabbits moved to town. Not only did they eat the green beans themselves, but the leaves and the stems too—all the way down to the ground! They probably wanted the roots too, but they had no little bunny tools to excavate them. Even if they had the tools, their lack of thumbs would have hindered the effort. My wife declared war on the rabbits when she stated to boys that she “would pay five dollars for every dead rabbit”. I think she meant it too. One of our neighbors heard that the hunt was on and pleaded for us to chase the rabbits across the street to her house rather than kill them. Perhaps she watched a little too much Bugs Bunny as a kid.
My boys don’t really have the proper equipment to terminate bunnies, but they were on the hunt with their air-soft guns and plastic bb ammunition. The worst they would be able to do is blind the rabbit with a direct shot to the eyeball. Even then, the one-eyed critter would still eat all the beans on the left side of the garden while thinking to itself, “Odd, I remember there being twice as many beans here.” Truth be told, my boys haven’t even come close to killing, wounding, or even bothering the rabbits. “Ouch, stop that you pesky little boys!”
And then the other day, the chase was on! While my son was chasing a rabbit around the house, he dove for cover into a gutter downspout (the rabbit, not my son). My son got a fishing net to cover the opening and we tried to bang on the pipe to scare it into the net. No deal, the rabbit was moving and we were getting bored, so we left the net in place and went about our business. Soon thereafter I noticed our fishing net crawling slowly across the yard. My son walked up to it, bent over, and picked up the net. Victory was his! He caught the rabbit and I broke out into a chorus of (using the Elmer Fudd voice) “I killed the wabbit! I killed the wabbit! Killed the wabbit!”
Now what do we do with it? It was this cute little adorable bunny. We ended up carrying the poor little thing across the street to our neighbor’s yard. “Remember when you said you wanted our rabbits? Well here you go.” We, as a group, let the bunny loose and watched it frantically scurry into our neighbor’s landscaping at which point my son asked, “Do I still get my five dollars?”
My wife paid the bounty. And that particular rabbit is not allowed to cross the street anymore!