For the past 5 years, we haven't had to use extreme measures with the bunnies. Sure, they nibble a few leafy greens now and then. But for the most part, they leave the veggies for me, Jeremy and Jordan. It doesn't hurt that the garden mass produces lots of veggies.
This year I have a different attitude. The horrible weather - rain, rain and yet more rain coupled with below normal temperatures - resulted in my veggies not growing very fast. The slugs have helped themselves to the tender shoots, making little holes in all the leafs. The beans are skeletal remains. The corn is 4 inches tall and has been for 3 weeks. In fact, since I started gardening back at the age of 15, I have not experienced such a terrible start to the official gardening season.
The only veggies doing well in the garden are lettuce, beats, peas, broccoli and radishes - those that like the cool weather. And I am feeling very protective of those little guys! So last night when we were standing on the back deck, drinking wine and admiring the property, a little cute bunny went hoping towards the lettuce. My first thought was of Monty Python and the Holy Grail - this cute, itsy, bitsy, harmless bunny was really a cold blooded killer of my produce!
He was sitting at the edge of the garden cleaning himself, wiping his ears. Every once in a while he would look up at the deck. He knew! He knew and he was taunting us - "what ya gonna do?" I was filled with a feeling of contempt. Jeremy suggested we go get the 22 and make rabbit stew. At that moment, it sounded like a great idea! That'd teach him for eyeing my lettuce. And I think we would have followed through had it not been for the sheep standing 5 feet away.
It wasn't that we were concerned about shooting the sheep. Jeremy is a hunter and a very good shot. But 3 of the sheep are pregnant. I was concerned the sounds and resulting shock would cause all the sheep to drop their babies on the spot. But that bunny was slowly and nonchalantly inching towards the lettuce. I said to Jeremy "Find something to throw at him. Quick!"
We have lots of things on the deck, but none of which I'd like to have hurtled off the second story deck down into the garden. We do have two boxes of soda sitting on the table. Jeremy grabbed a diet Sprite ... took careful aim (throwing from an elevated perch is more challenging) ... and let it go. His missed. But only by a few feet. The bunny took off. The can rolled into the sheep who had gathered to watch the incident. They scattered. But luckily none gave birth on the spot.
Next time, the bunny will become stew!