Monday, June 8, 2009

St. Francis and the Rabbits

It is said that St. Francis was so pure of heart that animals had no fear of him. I am not St. Francis, and I sincerely wish that animals feared me more than they do. I am speaking specifically of rabbits. Last winter they destroyed the hedge around our patio, and all through the spring they have been munching on various flowers and plants. They are clearly doing this with malicious intent. They sense in their evil bunny hearts which plants we value the most and single them out for destruction. If it is not a plant they care to eat, they taunt us by snipping it off and leaving it lying on the ground. These are very, very bad bunnies.

We have tried putting fencing around particularly prized plants, but this creates a garden that resembles a prisoner of war camp. Susan sprinkles plants with pepper and sprays them with various magic potions, but the rabbits regard these as salad dressing. They are indifferent to plastic snakes and snicker at plastic owls. We win the occasional battle, but the bunnies are winning the war.

In my mind there is an obvious solution, but the only thing Susan detests more than rabbits are guns. While I am a strong advocate of gun control, I believe that gardeners have an inalienable right to defend their forsythia with a pellet gun. She raises grim scenarios of me shooting my eye out or being hauled away in cuffs by law enforcement. This is not an argument I am going to win.

St. Francis is often credited as author of “the serenity prayer,” which was actually written by Reinhold Neibuhr. Here is his original version of it:
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

I cannot decide if rabbits are things that cannot be changed or things that should be changed. I like the second part of the prayer, the part most people have never heard. More of us should pray that “I may be reasonably happy in this life” because we are not likely to be completely happy. Not so long as there are rabbits.


Susan said...

I'd never read the whole prayer -- thanks for posting it, rather surprisingly, in a description of the rabbit nastiness. I saw a baby one this morning skittering under my prize hosta. Perhaps I shall look at them differently now... or not!

Cathy Stratton said...

Jane Laue told me the best remedy for rabbits is human you have a hairdresser friend?

rick in cos said...

I have found the ultimate weapon, and it is natural and legal and part of God's plan....a fox! We have resident foxes in our yard, they visit regularly, and we have never seen a rabbit near our yard. We have seen some skunks, and even worse, the mule deer wreak havoc on our shrubbery. The fox won't make the deer go away, nor will the bear. but, we have no rabbits!
this past week, while on vaction, we saw a real western Jackrabbit running at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, you think YOU have, he was a giant.