Those Wascally Wabbits

Today’s guest post comes from Jacque.

As I child I loved the Beatrix Potter book Peter Rabbit. I loved the story; I loved Mama Rabbit’s warning to stay away from Farmer MacGregor’s garden; I loved adventurous, naughty Peter with his snow white tail; I loved the drawings; I loved sitting on Dad’s lap listening to his low voice recite the book one more time.

Farmer MacGregor, the anti-hero wearing overalls and carrying the fearsome pitchfork, was the recipient of all my fear and scorn.

He was mean.

He was Peter’s enemy.

He did not understand Peter at all.

Soon thereafter, Bunny Rabbit on Captain Kangaroo appeared, tormenting Mr. Moose with his rainstorm of ping pong balls. I thought that was so funny. Bunny Rabbit was my secret friend. Mr. Moose was a perfect foil who just never caught on to Bunny’s smart tricks.

Later in childhood Bugs Bunny arrived, carrot in hand, ready to torment Elmer Fudd. “What’s Up, Doc?”   Elmer Fudd was just such a Fuddy-Duddy, never smart enough to out smart Bugs. I loved Bugs.

As a child I was on the side of the Rabbit, wherever the rabbit appeared.

Well, not anymore. I am now Mr. Moose, Farmer MacGregor, and Elmer Fudd all in one.

My vegetable/flower garden in fenced in, the flowers in the flower garden carefully protected, all to prevent rabbit carnage. Despite all this the rabbits chewed away a coneflower this spring. They almost destroyed a yellow button flower that came over the prairies on the covered wagons with my ancestors, as well as a coral bells. These are all hardy perennial plants which are nearly impossible to destroy, and these wascally wabbits nearly got them all.

Last year we witnessed a genius baby rabbit who learned how to traverse the rabbit fence around the vegetable garden. Lou and I stood there watching as the baby bunny scaled the rabbit fence straight up to a hole large enough to allow him/her through, then slithered into the garden. We then knew exactly who devoured the seedling radishes, beets, carrots, and kohrabi. After opening the gate, I charged into the garden, startling the bunny who then left the enclosure the same way he or she entered.

A tiny 5 pound critter reduced me to rage and blind frustration. My perspective shifted and the souls of Mr. Moose, Farmer MacGregor, and Elmer Fudd entered my being. I yelled “What’s Up Bunny?” at the departing tail.

What has caused you to experience a shift in your perspective on an issue?

98 thoughts on “Those Wascally Wabbits”

  1. My kitties are available for hire…..

    So far they have not dug where they should not and while bunnies abound in our neighborhood, the gardens are intact.

    I started life as a republican……

    Liked by 4 people

  2. i have been told that my views change and i tend to believe it. i fell the way i feel without a great deal of thought or insight on occasion . i just feel that way. i am ok with that until it is pointed out that i am doing a disservice by not understanding the situation. i will try to listen to the new input and realign the thought process .i always love that about bill clinton and try to keep open to it myself.
    i have bee told i have argued both sides of the which way glasses should go in the cupboard issue. up so the rim doesnt touch the bottom of the shelf or down to keep floating particles out of the inside. im going with up today. toilet paper over or under. im an under guy. republican candidates rand paul is my personal favorite but donald trump or chris christy certainly are quotable. i once told a republican i liked ayn rand and got into an argument that it wasnt possible for me to like ayn rand if i was a democrat. turns out she was right. i dont like ayn rand after all. i stand corrected,
    i did find out puerto rico cut back form 19 to 15 holidays and i wont make that mistake again of believing something someone tells me. i will check it out further. thats all you can do. check it out further.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Well, I am now self-employed, so I get as many holidays as I like, whenever I want them, which works out to about as many as I got working for a 24/7 business.

      This is maybe why when I have extra time to whack some potatoes into poutine and celebrate Canada Day, I do.

      You did get me curious about why July 1, so I researched. Turns out Canada Day was Dominion Day prior to becoming an independent nation in their own right. It commemorates the day in 1867 when New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the United Province of Canada were combined into a single dominion.

      I admit it, I love the internet.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I believed in the eye for an eye imperative used to advocate for the death penalty until I watched the Oxbow Incident, a classic movie staring Henry Fonda. The letter the innocent man wrote to his wife makes me tear up just thinking about it.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. There is a quote from a Peter Wimsey novel that goes something like “Time will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is unstoppable by any force of nature”.

    Our neighbors to the south have a shed under which bunnies live a comfortable and safe existence,They see no reason to stop up the hole that the bunnies use to enter and exit their suite. Our neighbors to the north admit to feeding bunnies all winter.”They are so cute and look so hungry”. Finnian, the neighbor cat who kept the neighborhood bunny free has moved. We have erected chicken wire fences as necessary to keep the varmints at bay. Our only hope is with Hugo, the black marauder who lives in back of us and who plays with his catch instead of killing them quickly and cleanly like Finnian did. I may resort to catching them next spring and removing them to some location several miles outside of town. Why do I feel guilt that they will be easier prey for coyotes? Damn you, Beatrix Potter!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Love that Lord Peter! Have I changed from a tame young woman to an unstoppable advanced old one? I don’t know…

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  5. Jacque – wonderful! I especially love the line “I am now Mr. Moose, Farmer MacGregor, and Elmer Fudd all in one.”

    I am very schizophrenic where the bunnies are concerned. They are cute and fuzzy (we won’t discuss how much time is spent in the bunny barn at the State Fair!) but it’s hard to co-exist with them when you have gardens and dogs. A couple of bunnies lose their lives every year at our place and I wish I could feel worse about it than I do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Never in my life have I heard a more wrenching death struggle than a coyote catching a rabbit. The sounds they make are like those of a human infant crying. This happens at least twice a summer.

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      1. Well, now that I have read this I don’t think I will be transporting any bunnies out to the country anytime soon. Coyotes are vicious and nasty.

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  6. Good morning. I am in favor of turning some of the rabbits in my neighborhood into rabbit stew. I’m not going to do that. I might do it some day if I can convince other people in my family that there is nothing wrong with doing that. Like you, Jacque, I have grown less fond of rabbits after suffering extensive rabbit damage in my gardens.

    While I still like cats, I don’t like to see them roaming around outside. I do enjoy visiting with my neighbors’ cats. However, I think it would be better if they kept them inside. I do not tell them that they should keep them inside because I am sure they don’t want to hear that. I saw a cat with a dead song bird in it’s mouth and have seen the remains of song bird probably killed by cats. Those observations firmed up my position that cats should stay inside.

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    1. My almost 90-year-old neighbor (who also has an excellent garden) would be very sad if I did that. The orange tabby goes over and hangs out with her when she gardens, so she has a cat, but none of the attendent care or expense.

      I did rescue a baby bunny this spring and confined my delinquents for awhile after that to give the bunnies a chance.

      I don’t think either of them are terrific hunters, but the rabbits don’t know that . I think the songbirds have more to fear from the local cooper hawk patrol.

      I did notice my few strawberries managed to get red without being beaked out of edibility.

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      1. I know there are some positives to letting cats roam. Perhaps I am out of line when I suggest that they should stay inside.

        Bird damage to strawberries and other fruit is a problem. I have used netting to keep birds from eating my berries and found some dead birds that got caught in the netting so I don’t like using netting. If I get too much bird damage I might use netting that is placed as tightly around the plants to reduce the chance that birds can get under it and get trapped.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve never consumed a wild rabbit. I do like eating rabbits raised to eat. After looking at the information Clyde posted, I am not sure that I should try eating wild rabbits. Rabbit stew sounds good. Maybe not wild rabbit stew.

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    2. I’ve read the research about millions of birds being killed by outdoor cats, but my own experience is contrary. I’ve been owned by 17 cats over the last two decades and have yet to see them kill a bird. Since they’ve always brought dead chipmunks and field mice into the house, I’m sure that they’d not discriminate about bringing in a dead bird.

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  7. A little rabbit story. For those who might have doubts, I know this story to be true.

    When my parents moved to Minnesota, one of their first friends was Roger, a wealthy realtor in Wayzata. One fall Sunday Roger wanted to go pheasant hunting. Tita, his wife, icily reminded him he had agreed to stay home to entertain her and their four-year-old daughter, Nancy. Roger agreed to let his wife and daughter come along to sit in the car while he hunted.

    Inside the car while Roger hiked around, Tita amused Nancy by reading books. One was Peter Rabbit. When a cottontail bunny hopped up right beside the car Tita said, “Look, Nancy, there’s Peter Rabbit right there!”

    Roger was returning to the car, tired and frustrated. Seeing a bunny right by his car, Roger shouldered his shotgun and fired. When he got to the car Nancy was sobbing “You shot Peter Rabbit!” It was a difficult moment for all of them.

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        1. The teacup ride at disneyworld had a lid on the teapot that would rise and show the little mice under there
          My daughters always told me to look and I would say . Oh no not that old trick again and the. I would count to ten and look after the top went back down again. This went on for years
          Still brings a smile

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Tell us about the photo, Jacque!

    I used to wonder how people could be depressed, having rarely experienced it. In college I remember a girl who had what we now call S.A.D., and I wondered if she was faking it. Finally got close enough to a few souls (roommates, co-teachers, wasband, inlaws) who made me realize EVERYONE’s mind is different from mine. Different backgrounds, different talents, different upbringings, different life experiences… and I can’t know what’s in someone else’s head, unless maybe I’m a Vulcan.

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    1. Sandy has never accepted my depression as anything other than a character flaw. Then she got depression. But still thinks mine is a character flaw.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. I also think it is so distressing to see a loved one depressed, and you just want it to go away and you feel helpless to make it go away so you get mad and maybe blame the depressed person that they aren’t trying hard enough.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. I will try this again–just had the skin tests in my arm and I am awaiting the immune response so I have 10 minutes.

      Dear Leader, Kim Jung Dale, chose the delightful picture, which I love. The one I found was 3garden variety rabbits on the prairie. Maybe Dale can tell us more.

      As I pulled into LaCrosse for my yearly allergy appointment which was scheduled many moons ago, a large green military helicopter swooped overhead. Traffic stalled and police lights were everywhere. President Obama is in town. I wonder how Gov. Walker is taking it all?

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Love your blog, Jacque! I often shift my perspective after reading a good book, watching an interesting documentary or listening to a persuasive speech. Then I usually try to learn about the opposite aspect, just so I know I have a well-founded position. Personally, I have no issue with politicians who are accused of waffling or changing their minds. I’ve always felt it was a sign of being open-minded and willing to be flexible — and do what’s best for the whole, not just certain groups.

    One major change for me over the years was supporting gun control. Now, I feel it’s best to give the people the freedom to bear arms, otherwise only criminals will have weapons. I don’t like guns and don’t own one, but I support a person’s right to own and use one properly for defense of self and property. Even that has some qualifications; like background checks and not having military style weapons available to the average consumer.

    My spiritual beliefs have changed and evolved significantly over the years as I continue to try and understand the universe and my place in it.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. My single greatest shift in perspective and a gift from cancer is no longer fearing death in any way. There were times following the massive surgery in which I was so ill that death would’ve been a welcome relief. By and large, though, this experience taught me that there is a sweet sense of peace and acceptance which descends when facing the reality of dying. Prior to this chapter in my life, I was terrified of death.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Sad sense of sadness and relief just now. Our large orange cat, the one who often “thought outside the box” has to be put down due to kidney problems. I am sad for daughter, who will be grief stricken, and relieved that now I can put throw rugs on the floor withough fear of him peeing on them. He only caught one bird in his whole life and he was so scared of it after he caught it he dropped it as fast as he could and ran into the house.

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    1. The first cat is the hardest to say good bye to. There was a summer a few years ago that I had to put down four fur persons in just one month, all from old aged cat maladies. I have a friend who’s a vet and he comes here to do it. Since then, I’ve staggered the ages of new cats so that they don’t go all at once. I also have a pet cemetery to lay them to rest.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I told daughter and she is ok but sad. We did right by him and kept him and loved him even though he was problematic at times. His urn will go next to our dear Albert’s urn beneath the maple tree right below the bird feeders.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. When I was a grad student I learned in a course on public opinion how all of us struggle (usually without knowing it) to protect our fondest beliefs. When I began examining my own core beliefs, I easily saw some of the mental tricks I used to protect them from hostile views or unwelcome information. My reading of history showed me that at all times, people had world views that were bizarre amalgams of insight and error. As just one example, I am sympathetic to groups that opposed the rush to join WW I. And yet I don’t believe pacifists who argue that this nation goes to war because manufacturers want to gain profit by selling the machinery of war. That was a strong theme in 20th century pacifism.

    Ever since that insight I have fought hard to be open to unwelcome views, and I’ve changed my views often. One of the more embarrassing changes happened a few years ago. Like virtually all “progressives” of my time, I believed the traditional pattern of welfare was necessary to protect people who weren’t functioning in our economy. I hated the drive to throw everyone off welfare roles. After that happened, I’ve had strongly mixed feelings about it. A great many people were hurt by the change. At the same time, I wonder now if the old style of welfare encouraged dependence among recipients. I no longer have a clear position on this. I fear our current patterns deny badly needed help to many people, but I wonder how much good the old welfare system did.

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    1. Welfare has not been eliminated so much as redesigned. Instead of the old system, where a county government would give a monthly payment to, say, a single mom, they now give a monthly payment to someone else to take care of the single mom’s kids while she goes to work. Then the federal government sends her a hefty check every February in the form of Earned Income Credit, because the crummy job she got doesn’t pay enough to live on, much less raise children on.

      Others who were on welfare got on disability, which they had been on previously, but were cut off of when the federal government had a big push to get people off disability. At some point there will be another big push to reduce disability rolls and they will go on welfare again.

      Still others just fell through the cracks.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Since Clinton, the lifetime limit on assistance is five years and no more than two consecutive years only if a person’s looking for work or in a training program of some sort.

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  13. I too have a love/hate relationship with the bunnies. Today they’re cute, because I don’t think they’re who’s getting in the back garden. Saw the woodchuck climbing a tree the other day, so what can keep him out?? Good thing Beatrix didn’t write one called “Woody Woodchuck.” I have no sympathy for him/her.

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  14. Excellent blog, Jacque, and I LOVE that photo.

    Like others here I have mixed emotions about a lot of issues. I’m a strong opponent of the death penalty, and always have been, yet, there are some crimes that are so heinous that I’d gladly wring the neck of the perpetrator myself.

    I’m a strong supporter of pro-choice, yet object to abortion being used as a form of birth control. I’m aghast that some women have had multiple abortions, but am not willing to sacrifice the choice for a safe legal abortion.

    Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform was a disaster, and the fall-out from it, continues. Some people just cannot fend for themselves, and condemning them to a life of poverty and misery just doesn’t serve any of us. Yet, I understand that a lot of people who struggle, but are ineligible for assistance, question what they view as unfair handouts. These are tough, tough issues that won’t go away, and they are issues that we must continue to grapple with.

    Coming, as I do, from a country that has a strong tradition of socialism, I sleep better at night knowing that our social safety-net is working. I’d rather have a relatively few people abuse the system than know that we have tightened the controls to the point where people are falling through the cracks. I’m amazed when people, some of whom are friends, have had the benefit of a stable home life, a good education, hold good jobs, and have healthy kids don’t care about policies that are detrimental to families that haven’t been so fortunate. Those of us who are blessed with reasonable intelligence, good health and white skin take an awful lot for granted.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. One Easter morning several years ago the children of one of our local doctors found two dead rabbits on their doorstep, deposited there by the family dogs. It wasn’t a happy Easter.

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    1. Please don’t tell the doctor’s family but that story made me snort with laughter. The timing of it (on Easter) is giving me the giggles.

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  16. Just drop the excess bunnies at my place, aka Rabbit Hill.

    Not that that would reduce the population where you are. Rabbit populations just expand to fill the space available, as is typical with most critters.

    I’m not sure what the local bunnies eat – it’s nothing I’ve spent any time grieving over, anyway. My tomatoes and peppers seem to go unmolested. In the winter I sometimes put out some timothy hay for the rabbits in the back yard.

    Why do we call rabbits bunnies, anyway?

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    1. At my house, they eat the heads, just the heads, of my tulips! That’s rather disappointing, but not enough for me to go to any trouble to kill or get rid of them. I enjoy seeing them, squirrels too.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Answer: The word “bunny” comes from a separate English term bun, which was used in place of the word “rabbit” in some areas in medieval England. A third word used by Norman French invaders of England was coney, from which we get Coney Island.

      I love the internet – hope it’s true!

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Years ago my ex and I raised rabbits for meat. One doe gave birth to ten babies in November and then died. We tried to save the babies by feeding them goat milk with a kitten bottle. We killed nine of them by feeding them too much and drowning them with the milk. One female survived. She lived in the house until spring. She would attack my ex when he brought wood in, peed in his shoes, strafed him with pee. Since he was the one who actually saved her, it was most ungrateful of her to act this way. In the spring she gave birth to three little bunnies — a white one, orange one and gray one. And when they were old enough to leave the nest, she disappeared.

    They were fun to have around, but I hated killing them, loved eating them.

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    1. My friend, Helen, who lives down the street from me has chickens. They lay eggs only for a couple of years, but can live much longer than that. She’s essentially running a hen nursing home because she doesn’t have the heart to kill them. While she was on a trip a little over a week ago, I had the “pleasure” of finding one that had been ailing dead. I gave it a decent burial as Helen would have wanted. Neither Helen nor I were cut out for “urban farming.”

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh my! Guess Helen is doing great. She has five hens left, and generally gets two eggs a day. I’m on chicken duty again this weekend. I get to keep whatever eggs they lay. Such a deal!

          You need a hen whisperer, Ben.

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  18. My son once rescued a really young bunny from his cat’s jaws. Not knowing what to do with the little guy, he put him in the bathtub while he dutifully called the DNR for advice. They told him to put the bunny out near where he thought the nest was. He picked the bunny up by his scruff, just as one would with a kitten. In doing so, the bunny’s entire skin peeled from his body. Needless to say, my son was devastated.

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  19. The end of the Harvey movie I like so much is a similar shot to the one in today’s blog.
    Nice feel to it
    The Guthrie is performing Harvey next year. I look forward to seeing that

    Like

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