The Wabbit War Begins

Image courtesy of Warner Bros, free use agreement.

When I was a kid, Elmer Fudd was a popular cartoon character. I had to go to the movies to see him star in a cartoon. That was before television was invented. Elmer spoke with an impediment and pronounced “r’s and l’s” as “w.” Today his speech would be offensive to many liberal senses. The libs would protest that the character was demeaning speech impediments. To me it was funny, and is still funny. If you are offended by written words about lispy speech, stop right here and go to the ACLU website and register a complaint.

Elmer loved hunting and was always in pursuit of a rabbit named Bugs Bunny. He pronounced rabbit as wabbit, and his favorite saying was “siwwy wabbit.” Each cartoon episode involved Elmer in some hilarious attempt to catch the wabbit who stole his carrots. I love Elmer Fudd.

I tell this story because I too am in pursuit of wabbits or illegal aliens as one of my gardening friends refers to them. For some reason, this season the wabbit count is high, and they are voraciously hungry. I have a collection of Asiatic lilies, which I am very proud of, but this year they have been decimated by the wabbits. At first, I thought it was a bug, but one day, I witnessed a long earred furry thing chomping on the tender leaves of a lily plant. By the time I reacted, and placed a wabbit barrier around the stubs, it was too late; the liwys were eaten to the ground

A year ago, I wrote a story titled “Dumb Ass Squirrel #!!&+*^(#?” It described my battle with a squirrel and my bird feeders. Later in the summer, I wrote a trilogy of pieces about another garden creature titled; Mystery-Riddle,  Dumb Ass Squirrel Has Competition,  and Answer to Riddle.

Eventually, I gave up and conceded to the ingenuity of the squirrels. The wabbit is another matter. The squirrels are entertaining; the wabbits are destwuctive. There is no pwant matter thing they wiww not taste. In the pwocess, they destwoy bwooms. One of the fiwst fwowers of spwing is the tuwip. The wabbits wait untiw the bud is high and about to bwoom, then they chomp the stem. The bud ways on the gwound with an uneaten stem stiww attached.  (If you think it is easy to write with a lisp, think again. I want you to get as frustrated reading this as I am chasing the wabbit.)

My war with the wabbits is compounded by, my sweet wife, Peggy. She has a motherly fondness for all living creatures and goes out of her way to feed birds, squirrels, and now wabbits too. Her attitude is that the animal kingdom leads a hard life and they deserve a little tender loving care. (But not my prize lilies dam it.) Peggy will dump a cup full of birdseed on the patio for the ducks, and the wabbits. On the way to the seed pile, the wabbits pass through my flowerbeds and partake of appetizers. A bite here, a nibble there, aren’t they cute?

For the last week, instead of drawing Obama bashing cartoons, and blogging, Grumpa Joe has been busy installing wabbit barriers at considerable expense. Every day he discovers that the wabbit has figured a new route into the flowers. So far, He has discovered a huge chunk missing from his favorite cactus, a denuded potted geranium, coral bell stems, and leaves lying on the ground. All the buds from a bellflower are gone, chrysanthemum buds gone (that one is a favor to me), bell pepper, hosta, and sedum leaves eaten to the stem. What do they leave alone? Wabbits avoid dandelions, clover, thistle, Queen Anne’s lace, and so far, day lilies.

 The war continues.

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