My back yard is, currently, overrun with bunnies. At first, I thought they were cute. I thought they were adorable, fuzzy-faced little fur-balls scampering and cavorting through my over-grown grass, impervious to the cares of the world and existing solely for charm, and charm alone. This was, of course, a cynical ruse. It is part of their strategy.
In the spring, they were so small, they could fit in the palm of your hand. They carried notebooks and pencils and a surveyors wheel. They checked out books from the library on how to build a catapult. I thought it was charming.
By July, they were the size of cats. When they hid behind my peonies and pounced on a small dog, I assumed they were just playing. They were terribly cute. And the dog squealed like a pig. I didn’t see that dog again, but no one in the neighborhood minded much, as he was a yippy, screeching little thing who had taken to peeing on people’s shoes when he was feeling annoyed. Which was always. He vanished, and I assumed he went on an annoying-dog cruise ship around the world.
By August, they rivaled the weight of my ancient, herding dog. They had weight-lifting tournaments in the back yard. Money was exchanged. There were bunny bookies shaking down unsuspecting robins for misplaced cash.
They started building bonfires. They painted their faces with mud and the juice of yew leaves and something red that I hoped to god is from berries. They howled at the moon and beat their chests grinned at my house while rubbing their adorably fuzzy bellies.
Now, in September, they have broad shoulders and bulging biceps. They play cards under the play house and gnaw on cigars clenched in their yellowing jaws and use foul language in front of my children.
There are no squirrels in my yard anymore. We used to have a family of woodchucks living in the base of the fir tree, but either they saw which way the wind was blowing and got the heck out of Dodge, or something more sinister is afoot. The birds are gone. The raccoons have fled. And the bunnies are – right now – staring at the house. They are peering into my office window. They are elbowing one another and gesturing with their stubbled chins.
My dog won’t go outside. I don’t blame her. I have taught her to use the toilet, though I still have to remind her to turn on the exhaust fan from time to time.
The gas company has been calling my house for the last three weeks because of their meter reader who disappeared while checking my gauges. He was, apparently, on the phone with his fiance, when, as he was writing his numbers, he was reported as saying, “Oh, look at the cute little…. oh my….here, I have carrots! Please, take the carr-” and a terrible silence. The fiance said that she could hear the sound of something furry – and possibly adorable – rubbing against the phone.
There is no trace of the meter reader. I have doubts that he’ll ever return.
The bunnies have been collecting cookbooks. They have titles like “A Meat-Lovers Paradise”, and “Tender Cutlets For Hungry Hunters”, and “Kill It And Grill It”. They stick post-it notes on the pertinent pages.
They are sharpening their knives.
They have, apparently, purchased some sort of cauldron, and are, right now, smashing a bit of flint against an old nail, trying to make enough sparks to light a blaze.
They have devoured my vegetable garden, dug up my tulip bulbs and my iris tubers. They have eaten my grass to the nub. They have assaulted my cherry tree and my rose bushes, and are, even now, stripping my hydrangeas and sucking the marrow from its tender bones. They are dismantling my garage and painting graffiti on my fence. I have dreams that they have invaded my house, that they write posts on my blog and hijack my twitter feed. I have dreams that they drive my minivan and use my credit cards and sign my children’s permission slips and then start a campaign of terror and blame it all on me.
I have dreams that they rip my books to shreds and pen a new series of bunny romance novels under my name.
Clearly, the bunnies must be stopped.
I will await your suggestions.