Lagomorph Life

July 11th, 2010 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

My newest paperboy is furry. Out this morning around 6:30 to pick up the papers, I was not amazed to see a rabbit, but was surprised that he was not the least bit upset by me.

Likewise, at the end of the day in distant (13 or 14 miles away) Allston, I turned into a thoroughly urban warren of houses that barely squeezed onto their lots, leaving no space for more than a few bean plants. Another rabbit squatted in the middle of the street, a car length away from two teens shooting hoops.

Now, I’ll expect to see eastern cottontails morning and evening daily.

Up on Fairmount Hill in Hyde Park, we expect rabbits. There is an urban wild one long block East of us, reputedly home to a pack of coyotes. I’ve seen at least the parents, individually trotting around the streets like we’re the visitors and they the residents. I have found remains — tufts of bunny fur like the leavings after a canine snack in the yard. In the winter, tracks in the snow indicate that there is a warren under bushes on our property. We have seen one or two rabbits many evenings foraging around the fence 40 feet or so from our back deck.

This morning though, the newspaper bunny was refreshingly bold. Our youngest, a teen, figures that he  recognized me, at least in the sense that he knew I lived there and presented no threat. Perhaps — he sat on the sidewalk a foot or so from the papers and didn’t move until I was inches away from him. Then he hopped a few steps as I picked up the bundles. As I headed back to the house, he hopped without urgency or changing speed, a few feet ahead of me. At the driveway, he went behind the hedges and I headed up the steps into the house. An unhurried, unspoken moment shared…

This evening was a bit more curious though. What the devil was a wild animal doing so far from any trees, park, woods or protection of any type?

I was on a bike headed to a Boston Cyclists Union BBQ. The streets were as citified as you get without skyscrapers. Again, two guys were shooting baskets a few feet away. The rabbit was seemingly comfy hunched down in the middle of Riverdale Street.

We humans seem used to the idea that wee furries fear us. We appear, they scamper. Not so my eastern cottontails today. I could get used to this.

Update: Two mornings later, two rabbits were a few feet from the papers — speckled bookends on either side of the walk. I did not have a camera but have been keeping one at hand. Now I don’t see them and feel like Bessie Bighead from Under Milk Wood. “(She) picks a posy of daisies in Sunday Meadow to put on the grave of Gomer Owen who kissed her once by the pig-sty when she wasn’t looking and never kissed her again although she was looking all the time.” I’m looking.

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