Posted tagged ‘Beatrix Potter’

Man Vs. Bunny

January 30, 2014

My husband has bunny radar. The other evening at eleven o’clock in the far-below freezing temperatures, my husband asked, “Do you want to see a rabbit?”

My thought:  I want to go to bed!

On our back patio, in the dark and bitter cold, sat a rabbit. It wasn’t just any rabbit. My husband’s body language told me that rabbit was his nemesis. Before I could say goodnight, my husband was out the door chasing that furry critter away.

Rabbits have become an obsession with my husband. An obsession is never a good thing especially when it has to do with ridding the world – or at least our yard – of those hoppy little creatures. This fixation of his began several summers ago when a traveling band of bunnies moved into our neighborhood. Since that time, they do what bunnies do – multiply.

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! In the past, those rabbits have decimated our flower gardens. They’ve gnawed at our shrubs. And even though there’s a fence around our vegetable garden, the rabbits have discovered a way to secretly enter into a veggie paradise.

I reminded my husband of the Tale of Peter Rabbit and suggested he refer to how Mr. McGregor handled a similar situation. I even suggested he plant Creepy Carrots! to scare those bunnies away.

Then one day last summer, my husband discovered a nest of bunny babies in our yard. His decision to carefully move those bunnies to a place outside our yard transformed Mama Bunny into Battle Bunny!

It was all-out war between man and bunny. That bunny gnawed every bush she could find. She dug burrows around the yard, feasted on fresh vegetables, and left behind rabbit poop.

No fur ball was going to outwit my husband. He was out for rabbit stew! He swept away rabbit poop, put chicken wire around every bush, and bought rabbit repellent. We are now in the deep of winter and the bunny tale continues. My husband’s rabbit radar is up and running. Who will win?

Maybe my husband should plant a garden of books to quell his appetite for rabbit stew.

Rabbit Reading:

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002)

The Tale of Peter Rabbit written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter (Warne, 110 anniversary edition, 2012)

Creepy Carrots! written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012)

Battle Bunny written by Jon Scieszka: Mac Barnett and illustrated by Matthew Myers (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013)

Man Versus Animal Kingdom

June 3, 2011

Beatrix Potter didn’t know when she created the character of Mr. McGregor in The Tale of Peter Rabbit that he would still be alive and kicking all these years later. It’s true. Mr. McGregor lives not only in Beatrix Potter’s picture book, but he also has been reincarnated into my husband.

Yesterday I saw my husband chasing a rabbit out of our garden and through the yard. Visions of Mr. McGregor shouting, “Stop thief!” ran through my mind.

My husband is very protective of our yard. When animals appear where they’re not supposed to appear, something happens to the wonderfully calm man I know and love. So far this year, our yard has been host to Peter Rabbit, Tom Turkey, Robin Redbreast, a bevy of voles, a strange looking chipmunk, and a flock of crows. I think the animals secretly got together and decided to turn our yard into “The Animal Kingdom.”

Peter Rabbit began by munching on our flowers and then proceeded to the garden which is now his favorite spot.

Tom Turkey likes to poop on our front porch, run through our yard, and play hide and seek in our bushes.

Robin Redbreast built a messy nest in the front gutter and dive-bombs anyone who walks in front of the house.

The voles skitter across the pathways when they think no one is looking, the chipmunk has established a command post on our rock wall, and the grubs hiding in the lawn are being attacked by a pack of gigantic crows.

This menagerie has created quite a stir in our house. My husband has purchased disgusting sprays to keep the voles and chipmunks at bay. He has added more chicken wire to our garden to keep Peter Rabbit out. He swears at Robin, and when he sees the other critters in our yard, he bolts out the door like a crazy man to scare them away.    

I just sit and watch… It’s going to be a long summer in our animal kingdom!

In the meantime, check out these books.

There Is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems (Hyperion, 2007), Birds by Kevin Henkes and illustrated by Laura Dronzek (Greenwillow Books, 2009), I’m a Turkey! by Jim Arnosky (Scholastic Press, 2009), Rabbits and Raindrops by Jim Arnosky (Puffin, 2001)

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