Saturday, July 15, 2017

Zoo Crew

My friend M is a fellow gardener who enjoys all the things she can grow in her backyard.  She doesn’t enjoy the wildlife in our corner of New Jersey and has been known to be surprised by bobcats, groundhogs, squirrels, and bunnies.  M neither enjoys nor welcomes these creatures and at one point this spring announced that she intended to build an electric fence around her garden, one that she would power with a car battery.  This announcement made me nervous both because I wasn’t sure she knew her way around electricity and because I am the person who most often runs her to the emergency room when the need arises.

One thing is clear: M doesn’t want animals in her yard.  So when she texted me on a Thursday night to ask if T was at my house and then explained she’d found some creatures in her backyard, I expected that there was trouble on the horizon.  Her text read, “I was watering my planters and two or more small animals came up from the dirt.  I guess they were living there.  I am guessing a person with a pet squirrel (T has a sugar glider) is not afraid to remove them not only from the planter….from the country if possible.”

I sought more details about the wildlife and she informed me that they were, “scary and disturbing and have legs.”

Well okay.  

T and I promised to come around the next morning.  When I texted M that we were on our way she promptly wrote back, “Bring a 45,” so I knew this was going to be one hell of an adventure.  On the way down the street to her house, a ground hog crossed our path.  I feared it was an omen, and not a good one.

M met us at the gate in garden boots with a shovel.  She gave us the shovel and directed us to a galvanized bin that was a bit overgrown.  She assured us that the electricity was off and then she retreated to her house.   We entered the ring.

T began a careful look at the bin in question and inside she found a nest of baby bunnies.

They were neither scary nor disturbing, but they were little.  Mama bunny was nowhere to be found and the notion of moving these bunnies from the yard felt like a death sentence for them.  We persuaded M that they could be safely removed to a corner of her yard.  T and I carried the heavy bin to the location in the back and we hope that their Mama finds them.  They are buried in the grass of the galvanized bin back by the telephone pole and with luck will stay safe.  

M is no longer afraid of the scary creatures she thought she’d discovered.  T and I haven’t destroyed our karma by killing innocent wildlife and we’ve promised to check in next week to ensure that the bunnies are okay.  Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail have a few more days to grow up and get out to see the world.   I’d advise they find another lady’s backyard.

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