Borgman: We’re not the only ones watching our garden grow

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Lori Borgman

Once again, we find ourselves at that time of year when we commence our annual tradition of cultivating $64 tomatoes, $20 garlic bulbs, $50 red potatoes and assorted herbs that run in the $20-$30 range.

This habit of growing produce at an exorbitant cost is a practice we cannot shake despite living within a two-mile radius of four grocery stores selling the same things we grow, at a fraction of the cost.

Presently, our main garden concern is not plants, but rabbits. Mopsy and Topsy have returned. Every morning, the dynamic duo runs the perimeter of the backyard patrolling for invading forces, completely unaware that they are the invading forces. And every morning one of us flies out the back door chasing them, yelling at them and flapping our arms like wounded waterfowl.

They have nibbled all the hostas to the ground and eye every tender, green shoot, which is to say everything we planted. Their appetite is boundless. They enjoy sweet potatoes, Bibb lettuce, romaine, zinnias, peas, cucumbers and beans.

We have been using a humane live trap with hopes of relocating the rabbits. We baited the live trap for eight days and rabbits scored the win 8-0.

We have offered romaine, green leaf, red leaf, apple slices, cilantro and parsley. I’ve even added a small tumbler of apple cider of which rabbits are said to be fond.

Every morning the food has been gone, the trap door has been closed, but the cage has been empty. We suspect the rabbits partnered with a resident raccoon that reaches its clever paw beneath the trap and pockets the bait.

True story: Mopsy just came up to the French door beside the desk where I write and peered inside the house. Maybe she wants brussels sprouts. Maybe she is checking to see if we’ve given up and vacated the place so that they might move inside.

“We’re still here, Mopsy! Still here!”

Even our neighbors’ two yapping dogs do not deter them. The rabbits are fearless. They taunt the dogs with their puffy white tails.

Mopsy and Topsy have grown flopsy in recent days. They waddle when they leap. Their center of gravity shifts as they move. They have grown larger, rounder and fuller.

Our backyard will soon be a bunny maternity ward. Rabbits can have between five and eight bunnies per litter.

The score soon could be Rabbits 18, Humans 0.

Rabbits can become pregnant again within hours of delivery.

Maybe we’ll open a petting zoo.

We already have a plan for next year – we’ll plant hostas directly inside the trap.

Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Contact her at [email protected].