Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Down on the Farm: A Warning for the Easter Bunny!

We have a big fluffy orange cat we call Maize.  Because of the high concentration of coyotes that we have in the area, any cat that survives around here is something to mention. 

We have had this somewhat unsociable, sometimes lovable, mostly snobbish feline for over seven years and he has somehow survived the harshness that comes with living next to nature.  He has been known to be mistaken for a bobcat because of his size and a mountain lion because of his growl.

My little girls have loved him because he occasionally lets them play babies with him and my little boys have loved him because he always lands on his feet when he goes parachuting out of the playhouse.  Maize has been a faithful and reliable mouser since we got him and has therefore earned a soft spot in my heart, as well, even though I don't admit to particularly loving the species as a whole. 

One thing that Maize loves even more than mice is rabbits.  I don't know if they are easier to hunt than mice, but our cat is pretty consistent about catching, (and also tearing apart) jack rabbits, and also those cute fluffy cottontails.  This has always been his specialty.  This brings me to the topic of today's blog.

I'm sure all kids are the same.  Mine start thinking weeks in advance how to trap the various holiday heroes. 

For St. Patrick's Day, various contraptions involving gold coins, tipping chairs and string always seem to pop up.  Although the leprechauns have been seen dashing behind the couch and heard laughing in the other rooms, they always seem to avoid our attempts to catch them. 

Santa Claus and his reindeer are just as crafty.  No matter how many cameras, fireplace traps, and lawn goodies we put out, we still can't catch even the slightest glimpse of them.

And so the story continues with the Easter Bunny.  I do have to admit to seeing his giant rabbit tracks in our sand box and also a blurry footprint in the flour we dusted the sidewalk with, but other than that, his fluffy tail and long ears remain an unseen mystery.

Easter morning had arrived a few years ago and the kids had slept outside in our sheepcamp for the night.  As they were heading into the house that morning, anxiously skipping to the door in anticipation of what the Easter Bunny had left for them, I heard a shout, some commotion, and then intense crying.  I rushed outside to see what was going on when I spied what the kids had stumbled across on their trek into the house. 

There, beside tufts of little cottony fur and a very content Maize, was what was left of a rabbit.  Between the unmistakable "lucky" rabbit's feet and that cute head and long ears, there was no mistaking what Maize had eaten for his bedtime snack. 

This wasn't the first time the family had witnessed this scene and it took me a minute to understand the sobbing cries of the kids.  They believed that Maize had captured and eaten the Easter Bunny. 

After assuring them that the Easter Bunny was much bigger than this unfortunate cousin and sharing my profound knowledge that the hopping hero also had blue or pink hair, the kids, with obvious relief, continued on into the house where we began out Easter celebrations.

And so, with the Easter holiday so close, I send out a warning to that lovable critter, the Easter Bunny.  Thankfully, you have avoided our bunny-loving kitty all these many years, but take care.  This holiday wouldn't be the same without you.

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