You know the little white bunny from Alice in Wonderland, right? Or say, Thumper, the one from Bambi? Cute… white fur… pink nose… you know the guy.
This story does not feature one of these specimens of culture. In fact, the white bunny in today’s story, Is That a Rabbit on Your Head? Is downright rude…
… but hilarious.
And I’m so glad Beth Surdut, the author of today’s piece, shared it with us a couple of years ago. I won’t spoil what happens but let’s just say that Beth used to volunteer at a local gardening club that would dig up unwanted plants in people’s gardens. On one day, Beth met a bunny that just couldn’t resist her company.
Gardening Critters Galore
This story comes from our archive that spans over 30 years and includes more than 130 magazine issues of GreenPrints. Pieces like these that inject gardening humor into everyday life lessons always brighten up my day, and I hope it does for you as well. Enjoy!
Is That a Rabbit on Your Head?
At first it seemed so sweet …
By Beth Surdut
When I moved from Hawaii to a small Massachusetts town west of Boston, bonding with nature took on new meaning for me. Springtime in New England arrives right after mud season. Gardeners, desperate for a hot date with color after the frigid Winter, are filled with longings that must be satisfied. Knowing my own predisposition for filling my car with plants every time I visited a nursery, I needed a support group. A friend urged me to join the town garden club.
“You’ll fit right in. These are very creative people who know their flowers and get their hands dirty,” he told me.
I volunteered to be on the plant collecting committee. Our task was digging up our neighbors’ unwanted plants to be sold at the garden club’s sale. I looked forward to seeing gardens and learning more about local customs.
Shedding my long underwear like a snake sheds its skin, I awaited my digging partner, Liz, whose family had lived there for generations. She arrived with an arsenal of shovels, clippers, gloves, and buckets laid out neatly on a tarp in the back of her posh station wagon.
At the first garden, an adorable white bunny hopped along with us, as the owner, cocktail in hand, toured us around her yard. Pointing to a choked mass of irises, she said, “Those roses need thinning.” Liz glanced at me—and shook her head. We were there to dig up free plants, not give botanical lessons. The owner toddled off to refresh her drink, and we set to our task. We finished, grimy and sweaty, and Liz went to find the owner. I lay back on the grass, eyes closed, listening to birdsong. The bunny, pink-nosed and fluffy as a character from a children’s story, had stayed within sight, so when I felt it behind me snuffling my hair, I stayed still, keeping my eyes closed and thinking, “How sweet, how Alice in Wonderland.” But then paws gripped my hair and—Eeeuwww!—Mister Bunny put himself against my ear and started doing, well . . . it.
I leapt up in shock and cried, “Liz!”
“Right here,” she called, beaming. Liz’s goofy grin told me she’d seen the X-rated show.
“Is that his usual behavior?” I asked the owner. She waved her glass, sloshing her drink over the edge, and chirped, “It’s Spring!”
Liz and I retreated to her car. Once out of sight of the queen and her white rabbit, we howled—then drove towards our next garden.
Got any pets?” Liz cheerily asked the couple greeting us. “They just love Beth,” she said, dragging out the word loooove.
Then she snorted. I swear she did. ❖
By Beth Surdut, published originally in 2020, in GreenPrints Issue #121. Illustrations by Hannah England.
Did you enjoy this gardening critters story? How do you handle the bunnies in your garden?