Yep, I said it. Those cute little bunnies are bad parents. And so are raccoons. At least in our neighborhood. I’ve always held the opinion that animals were superior in many ways to humans. If kids are running wild in the neighborhood being loud, destroying things, getting themselves in dangerous situations, they are supposed to have two legs and dirty faces. The parents are supposed to be drunk and distracted adult humans. At least that’s the way I was raised to think.
Here’s what I’m talking about: A handful sized little bunny hangs out in our backyard, wandering around, dumb as a rock, munching on clover, squatting in the lilies. It has no sense at all. Our yard is not a safe place to play and eat. An adolescent bully cat (ours) plays there in the mornings, and god knows what other vicious creatures squeeze through the fence when we’re not watching. To make matters worse, it seems to have only two responses to danger (i.e. cat): 1) sit still while twitching its little nose so that it can be easily caught, or 2) scampering away in a manner that exactly imitates a cat toy.
Do I blame a baby for being dumb? No. Do I blame my cat for being a cat? No. Do I judge myself a little for asking questions like this when I can’t stand it when people do it on TV interviews? A little. The real problem is the absentee bunny parent who thought it was a great idea to kick the kid out before it knew what it was doing. I’m guessing baby daddy rabbit isn’t around. They are notorious for their infidelity. They’ve got to keep up their rep. After all, no other animal is used to fill in the blank in the expression “having sex like ____.” Not even hyenas.
The mother probably wanted some new lover as well. “No one comin’ round here with you sucklin’ babies still around,” she said. “All you do is eat and poop. Don’t ever help out.” So she takes her babies one by one to different locations. She brings one baby to the clover store by our back deck, tells him to “wait here, honey,” and the minute he’s not looking, she takes off. Little baby bunny is left to fen for himself and repeat the cycle of neglect.
Across the street, three baby raccoons wander without supervision, intimidating pond fish, knocking over garbage. They wrestle with each other in the middle of the road during the afternoons when their parents are napping. I think I saw them light off some fireworks the other night. No parents are in sight. They, like the bunnies have been left to wander without any sense and no firm grounding in rules.
Who suffers? Not the parents who are off partying with friends and making new babies. It’s the innocent victims of their children’s late night wilding, the sensitive onlookers who worry for their safety, and our cat–who is unfortunate enough to have guardians who make him pace inside because of the actions or inaction of others.