I remember that early afternoon. It was the middle of summer, the sun shined overhead as my dad ran into the house. “Girls, I have something to show you!” My sister and I ran downstairs where he gestured us to follow him outside. As it turns out, while mowing the lawn, my dad went over a hole. When he went to look in the hole, there was a nest of baby bunnies. The bunnies were unharmed by the lawn mower, curled up against each other with their eyes still closed.
We spent a while gazing at the baby rabbits before covering their hole once more and headed back inside. That night I imagined the mom hopping to her nest to feed the bunnies as they tightly snuggled against their siblings. The following morning I ran outside to go check on the rabbits. The sun was half way up the sky and the grass still glistened with summer dew. Parting the grass, I peered into the rabbit hole. And that’s when shit went down.
Up to this point it sounded like the opening to a Disney movie, but that is far from reality.
I’m not sure how clever rabbits are, but digging a hole for your babies on top of a hill, at the highest point with the summer sun straight above is a pretty stupid idea. The sun aligned directly with the hole and one poor rabbit on top was targeted. Underneath, her siblings were still fast asleep, unaware their sibling just cooked to death on top of them. At that point I panicked.
I called for my dad and we both stared at the rest of the baby bunnies. That’s when I decided, I would take them in. We covered the nest and I ran inside to Google “How to take care of baby rabbits”. I’m not sure what part of me thought this was plausible. With twenty minutes of reading online, I realized I’m going to kill them faster than the heat stroke will. Bunnies can die from about anything. The temperature has to be perfect. Too hot, they die. Too cold, they die. They need the right type of formula or they die. My cat is vicious and could murder them as well. All the while realizing I’m going to most likely be their demise, my mom was against taking them in.
According to my mother, they should just accept their fate as part of nature and die. Her maternal instincts and nurturing personality were really shining then. She complained for a good ten minutes before heading out to work. I immediately got a call on my phone after her departure and it was my mom. She was screaming and panting something about the rabbits.
I ran out the front door and the massacre unfolded. While I was inside researching how to save the bunnies and dealt with my mom’s bitching (I love you mom), a dozen ravens had another plan. I didn’t even know we had ravens in our area, and suddenly a dozen or so showed up. My mom saw one of the babies hopping across the neighbor’s driveway and my mom chased after the little guy only to have a raven snatch it before her eyes. The rest of the nest was attacked by with a flurry of wings and talons. I saw a row of ravens lined up on the neighbor’s roof, watching intently. One flew away with a rabbit still in its claws.
The flurry died down and I stood their horrified with my dad. My mom was still a bit stunned as my dad walked out to the crime scene. He warned me to not look… it wasn’t a pretty sight. Tufts of fur and blood remained. By the end of the day, the ravens had cleaned up the entire area and nothing was left but an empty hole.
I still, to this day, despise birds and honestly avoid rabbits out of guilt. Also screw Disney for portraying animals as cute and sweet. If I learned anything, Bambi was on to something. EXCEPT Bambi lived, not his mom sure, but baby Bambi lived. And ravens are assholes.