The Great Flying Bunzini Show!

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside, come inside!

There is a great and secret show that takes place each day along the hedge row. My husband is the ringmaster of the greatest show on earth. Well, maybe it's not quite the greatest show on earth, but it's plenty of fun! Even better, the tickets are free, and the location is quite convenient: it takes place just outside our downstairs window.

The performers are two wild Eastern cottontails, Spot (beneath) and Mini Bunzini (airborne), fueled by whatever treats they have had for their latest meal. The particular treats offered on this morning were strawberry tops and carrot slices, unsalted peanuts and oatmeal flakes, which fueled some powerful binkies and running leaps.

Spot likes to try to touch noses with Mini Bunzini, which is apparently a polite greeting among rabbits. However, Mini Bunzini will have none of that! Upon the first attempted nose touch, Mini Bunzini leaps or runs away. (Bunway Airlines, ready for take-off!) On this particular morning, I was on stand-by with the camera to capture one of the bigger bunny jumps I've seen.

Other yard creatures apparently are drawn to try to touch noses with Mini Bunzini as well. A few days ago, on one of the first days with temperatures above freezing, a large black vole wandered blinkingly out from under the front porch, joined the bunnies in snacking on oatmeal flakes, and then tried to touch noses with Mini Bunzini too. (What is this, some kind of weird nose-touching trend?) OF course, Mini Bunzini would have none of it!

The knee you can see on the lower right in this photo belongs to my husband; look how close to his feet the bunnies like to play. Occasionally, Mini Bunzini even likes to sit between his feet. The table was placed where it is on Tuesday or Wednesday, to give the bunnies a bit of shelter where they could snack and stay dry during the worst of our latest winter storm.

The little table also protects the bunnies from the swooping birds, who have discovered (despite the bird feeder on a table less than a dozen feet away) that sometimes the snacks the bunnies get just might be tastier. The bunnies like the table, and I sometimes see one or both of them sitting beneath it, even when no snacks are currently being offered.

We had a little bunny scare on Monday. We found cat tracks along the hedge and feared the worst. While one rabbit showed up, it was very skittish and we thought it was Spot. No Mini Bunzini all day long. Late in the afternoon, with heavy hearts, we searched all around the hedge. No sign of the second rabbit but no real evidence of foul play.

We thought the bunny was a goner, and spent the day trying to guess what kind of heinous skullduggery may have occurred in our yard. First, we looked at the most obvious option: was it the neighbor's cat who got the rabbit? Then we conjectured that maybe it was a hawk or an owl. Then we considered some other predator, such as a fox (remember, a fox killed our resident skunk in October).

And then, oh, worst of all, we wondered if maybe Spot (the other bunny), in some Shakespearean tragic twist - it being near the Ides of March, after all - had committed the evil deed out of jealousy and hopes of getting ALL the carrots. ("Et tu, Spot?" sighed Mini Bunzini, sadly.)

Finally, I conjectured that perhaps Mini-B was not only a GIRL bunny, but "in a family way" and sitting it out on a nest under the hedge, awaiting the arrival of the next generation of yard rabbits. Now, there was the first happy thought we had all day.

At dusk, my husband had been hanging around outside (dawn and dusk are usually feeding times for bunnies), and one bunny showed up, but he wasn't sure which one it was. My husband was preparing to be heartbroken; we feared for Mini-B. The only way we would know for sure that we had both bunnies (because they do look very similar) would be if BOTH bunnies showed up at the same time.

Around 6 pm on Monday evening, much to our great relief, Mini Bunzini appeared. And there was much celebration and rejoicing! Hooray! Long live Mini Bunzini and Spot! Let the show go on!

We're so glad you could attend. Come inside, come inside!

The song to accompany this photo of an apparently levitating helibun is Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, with Karn Evil 9 (whose lyrics are quoted above).

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