Nancy named our resident rabbit BIG EYES. “Crepuscular” she said. It is most active at dawn and dusk. She’s a poet and likes four syllable words. We like to think that Big Eyes is our rabbit. One day about four months ago, it just showed up and has remained on the property to this day. We are thrilled to play host to any wild animal (except cats).
We spent a bit of time trying to figure out why Big Eyes showed up here. There is very little rabbit habitat in the Village of Babylon. Rabbit’s produce young in large numbers. Once weaned, the parents disown them. Big Eyes hopped around looking for a place to live. Housing is dense and we picture rabbits in open undeveloped areas.
Our neighbor Roger told me that he had a rabbit in his back yard. I actually saw a rabbit crossing the street from the neighbor. Now we have a nature sanctuary thanks to one, beautiful rabbit. We have a large lawn and wild spots.perfect for rabbits.
Clues began to surface. I found incisor teeth marks on some of the tomatoes. There were bites taken from leaf lettuce. Big Eyes had settled in.
Nancy and I started an informal rabbit sighting contest. “She’d tease me with “Ha Ha, I saw Big Eyes.” There were almost daily sightings on the lawn and in the driveway. Nancy saw it in a patch of clover. Big Eyes survived the landscape crew when they came Thursday morning to mow the lawn. To us, this was evidence that Big Eyes was here to stay.
I decided to build a shelter so it could huddle under a lean to shelter with branches for rustic charm. I set it up so we could look from inside the house with binoculars. So far, Big Eyes has had other ideas. Rabbits have two coats of hair. The inner coat is thick short hair for insulation. It toughs it out, no shelter necessary.
With snow on the ground, I thought I’d buy some lettuce to spread near the shelter. Nothing happened. Nancy said “Rabbits eat tender bark with grass is unavailable.” I found evidence in the wildflower garden in the center of the lawn. Big Eyes munched on a young crab apple tree trunk.
The first light snowfall confirmed that Big Eyes was still with us. Tracks on the sidewalk and back near the compost pile. We are proud naturalists. We have Big Eyes… all the better to see you (said the fox to Little Red Riding Hood).