Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wild Kingdom

I was walking home early yesterday evening through the residential neighborhood I live in, when I noticed a tiny young rabbit with its mother in the grass near the sidewalk. There are a lot of rabbits around here, too many, and they're used enough to people that they're fairly bold, as long as one doesn't move too close.

The young one was a couple of feet from its mother. They both froze immediately, of course, so I stopped too, to watch them. Both sets of big brown eyes were fixed on me. So I took one step backward ... and the little one took one step forward, towards me. The mother didn't move.

Surprised, I moved back another step, and the little one, still watching me, stepped forward again. The mother was visibly more anxious, but didn't move. So I waited some more, and at last the young rabbit turned back towards its mother, who in turn came forward and covered it with her body. It began rooting under her for a nipple, I think, but she wasn't having any. She wanted it under her, and it wouldn't stay. ("Just wait till I get you back in the burrow, young man!") I continued home with a couple of glances back to see them moving into the bushes around the house whose lawn they'd been nibbling.

(The photo above isn't mine -- I didn't think to get out my camera -- but it's what the young rabbit looked like.)