Growing up, we had a dog, so I'm fairly fine around dogs (though my default setting is I don't trust them around kids), but I don't like cats.
I think this is in no small part due to the fact that there were a lot of random roaming cats in my neighborhood when I was a kid. (OK, maybe there were like 2.)
They'd frighten me when I'd see them.
But I was lucky to not have to deal with mice or deer or raccoons.
Until I was an adult.
But this week, I manned up around that cute little baby bunny you see there.
All right. As has been my writing style recently, before we move forward we must move back.
1999, Boston University on-campus apartment, Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts. I'm sitting around on a Saturday morning and I see something move among the mass of wires behind the television. I was home alone and I darted out of that apartment so fast I didn't even finish putting my sneakers on until I was on the sidewalk. I went to some friends' dorm, spent most of the day out. That night we watched Saturday Night Live and I swear I saw a mouse dart into the bedroom. My roommate wasn't so sure. He decided it would be a good idea to lay out a Pringle in the kitchen, just on the floor, to prove whether or not we had a rodent. (I hate that word.) Woke up, the Pringle was gone. Worst sleep I've ever had, those couple of nights. We trapped it by Monday or Tuesday.
When I lived in Watertown, probably in 2003 when I was working overnights, I was leaving for work at around midnight and saw a raccoon the size of a dog dart across the street. Working overnights was pretty terrible. Never more terrible than the next few nights when I had to go from my apartment to my car.
Every night before I go to bed I say a little thank you prayer that I have not had a rodent problem where I have lived since college. (But I don't pray to Saint Francis of Assissi. That dude just wouldn't understand.)
Every so often something gets close to the house - once a possum walked across the porch. You'll remember there was this back in June. And, quite often, there are bunnies.
I've been spending a lot of time cleaning up the backyard this summer, trying to make up for a couple of summers of too much neglect. This week when I was back there, for the first time this summer really, I saw a couple of critters. First was a chipmunk. This'll happen every now and then, but it ran away from the house, so we were cool.
Then I saw something dart across the yard and hide beneath some brush. I didn't really recognize it but I thought it was a bunny. It just didn't seem that big. I heard it rustling and rustling. It was close. But I didn't run away. So I know that was good progress for me.
Then, I saw it kind of hanging out on a brick ledge. Not only was it a bunny - it was a baby bunny!
I went up close and snapped a picture. Then it scratched its ear with its little hind leg (which, even on a baby rabbit is quite big) and I thought I should take a video. I thought then it would make the perfect Vine! (I'm waiting for the right moment for my first Vine New Thing. I thought this was it.) I recorded it pretty much doing nothing for the 6 seconds.
Somehow I deleted that video. Very frustrating. But let's focus on the positive - I was real up close to something that wasn't a person or a dog for, essentially, the first time in my life. It was kind of thrilling. I almost wanted to touch the baby bunny. But I didn't. I'm not a crazy man over here.
So, turns out, I like baby bunnies.
Or, at least, I don't hate them.
Or, better yet if we're being honest with ourselves, I'm not scared of them.
OK. I'm less scared of them than other things.
And I'm already recognizing the big problem. If I have a baby bunny in my backyard...well, chances are it's not the only one.
You know what they say about bunnies and proliferation.
If I come across a bunch of baby bunnies at once...well, that might be a whole other ballgame.
Hope no one takes a Vine of me if that happens.