I know. I’m blessed with the gift of gab. The turn of phrase comes naturally to me but this time I was at a loss for words. I sputtered like a lawn mower clinging desperately to life as the last fumes of gasoline thin slowly out of existence in its inner workings.
“You heard me. Bunnies. Lots and lots of bunnies.”
My young wife of 2 years was direct and to the point, often drawing me back in from my flights of fancy. It’s a wonder she ever decided to agree with me on the idea of moving to the country. An artist like myself needs nature to fill their soul. My wife, however, was a business woman. Nature was just another resource which she would use to build the life of her dreams. The fact that I knew she was an animal lover, and the prospect of owning and raising horses, was my trump card.
Now however, we stared out across the 2 and a half acre plot we had so carefully prepared and sowed. We should be harvesting in the heads of lettuce and ripe tomatoes the land was to provide but, seemingly overnight, our dream of a bumper crop turned into a leafy green version of Swiss cheese. Local efforts to cull the wolf and coyote populations had shifted gears this year and apparently they worked better than expected. Almost no livestock was lost this season to the predators, but tinkering with the balance of nature often times causes unforeseen consequences.
In our area’s case, it had been a near instantaneous and almost catastrophic explosion in the rabbit population. The effects of that were obvious to anyone in our position, both figuratively and literally. Before us stretched out a couple of acres of thoroughly chewed and eaten crops, with little dots of white and brown fluff seen flitting between.
The little fuzzy demons were so numerous that they were emboldened. One particularly fat hare sauntered not two feet from us to nibble on the remains of a head of lettuce. Were I a less kind-hearted man, I might have punted the evil little thing half way to the moon but, alas, I just sighed and rubbed my eyes.
I shook my head and thought out loud about what we would do to recuperate from this devastating loss.
My wife turned to me with a twinkle in her eye that I have come to know so well. It was a look she got as she hatched the next great business idea. To be honest, my art never made much money. It was her savvy that landed us in a position to buy this farm. And with the next words out of her mouth, that same savvy would help us keep from going under financially.
“Rabbits foot key chains can fetch about three bucks each. By my count, we’ve got a bumper crop of trinkets worth five figures right in front of us.”
Did I mention I love her wicked sense of humor, too?