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Guests in the garden
This bundle of long earred siblings, mistaken, at first for--gasp--rats, takes on rabbit characteristics as time goes by.
EDIE GROSS/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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By Edie Gross
IT WAS Mother's Day,
"We've got a problem," he declared.
Now, if you're a homeowner, you know this sort of declaration is inevitable. The only real variable is the degree of the problem.
Some are easily addressed with spackle and paint.
Still others require an after-hours call to your insurance company.
And then, of course, there are those that necessitate firearms and/or military-grade explosives.
Given that on the Sunday in question my husband was packing a BB gun on his hip, I figured we were quickly approaching DEFCON 1.
I started to bemoan the fact that my hazmat suit was at the dry cleaners when he motioned me over to the garden.
"There's something under there," he whispered, pointing at a rustling pile of vegetative debris in the middle of the raised box where we'd planned to install our tomato plants this year.
Naturally, my mind went immediately to its darkest corner, home of my greatest fears.
"Do you do you do you think it's a politician?" I stammered.
He stared at me blankly.
"You know, one of those door-to-door canvassing types, lying in wait to score a photo op with some unsuspecting, middle-class, suburban family just trying to plant vegetables? I read somewhere that if someone makes empty promises in your garden it can give the produce a bureaucratic aftertaste."
"Actually," he said, giving me the look he usually reserves for delusional people on the subway, "I was thinking more along the lines of rats."
I was momentarily relieved. Disease-carrying vermin don't hurt resale value nearly as much as politicians, and they're considerably easier to get rid of.
Still, I was pretty sure harboring rodents of any kind was against our homeowners association's bylaws, and we were already on probation for failing to hang an adorable seasonal flag from our front porch.
"There's only one way to find out what we're dealing with," I said, reaching for a trowel.