Saturday, August 8, 2009

Herding Rabbits

My husband and I are the proud parents of two beautiful, talented, amazing BRAT basenjis, Ivan and Dasa. The four of us live in a little house on the edge of a little town in Illinois, referred to as Mayberry by some of our friends from more densely populated areas. We enjoy the peace and tranquility. The birds sing, the flowers bloom, and all is well—unless I have to deal with wildlife early in the morning. Then the flowers still bloom, the birds sing, and I stumble around untranquilly, and think very unkind thoughts about Thumper and his extended family.

I am not a morning person. I have never been a morning person, and I don’t anticipate becoming one anytime soon, if ever. Crises and complications early in the morning do not put me in a happy place. The other morning at about 6:00, still wearing my jammies, I took Ivan and Dasa into the backyard on leashes since it was still technically night, at least in my book, and I didn’t want them to encounter one of the bunnies who keep leaving bunny poop deposits.

We ventured forth and found a rabbit in our backyard who could not remember how to get out again. There’s only one very slim spot between the fence and the house, a matter of inches, not even big enough for a basenji nose, yet rabbits routinely slip in and out with ease. So there I was in the backyard early in the morning with two highly stimulated basenjis towing me across the yard, frantic to catch the bunny, I tried to herd the bunny toward the only escape, as much as one can steer two slavering and extremely focused basenjis to one side of the yard to direct the rabbit toward safety. This was not working; neither of my precious children was at all interested in being the least bit cooperative when there was a bunny to kill. I dragged them back into the house, dragged being the operative word as their feet left ruts in the yard and they snarked at each other, outraged that they were being kept from breakfast served with bunny tail.

Once inside, Ivan and Dasa pawed excitedly at the door while the clueless rabbit wandered around in plain sight, pausing under the redbud tree to nibble grass. I secured the munchkins in the bedroom then went back outside to shepherd the rabbit out of the yard. Employing much strategic broom waving, I twice maneuvered the dim-witted rabbit to within a couple of feet of safety when he suddenly bolted and raced past me to nether parts of the yard. I was presented with a perfect example of the origin of the term “dumb bunny.”

Herding rabbits was a skill I had not yet mastered, so I threw on some clothes and took the munchkins for a walk. If there’s any information of value to be gleaned from today’s missive, it’s that basenjis have a very high octane prey drive and rabbit herding is something best attempted after breakfast.


  1. beautiful story smiles good thing no one else was up and about....if so you hope they didn't catch the morning act I...
    Fran, Bella, Mia (BRAT) and forever in my heart Tokalosh (8/4/08)

  2. Awww! Almost as good as herding cats!

    My guys are obsessed with squirrels. I am sure they'd love to catch a bunny, if they ever saw one!