I never knew a bunny could scream until My dog Molly, had one in her mouth.
|WHEN A BUNNY SCREAMS
We recently adopted a dog named Molly and brought her home. She is very affectionate, an 85 lb. lap dog . She is not happy unless she is touching one of us. Her cold nose on the back of our legs can elicit a squeal. Her tail wags incessantly, at times sending knick-knacks and half-empty sodas tumbling off the coffee table. She is a happy dog. She is pure and innocent, incapable of violence of any kind if you don’t include flatulence. Talk about a violent outburst!
And she has the softest mouth. She can pick up a marshmallow and drop it unharmed into your hand.
It came as quite a surprise then, to realize that she was a hunter of notable talent.
Yesterday, and for the second time this spring Molly found a rabbits den. In early April she located a family of rabbits, including baby bunnies in our back yard. My wife became aware of this discovery by way of the impossibly loud screams, yes screams, of the tiny bunny. Molly had the bunny in her mouth but she wasn’t biting it, at least not hard enough to kill it. Tail wagging, grinning she brought the “gift” to my wife.
For Molly, it was a game we played often. She brings us something to throw, we throw it. Our back yard is littered with tennis balls, bones and Frisbees. We wrestle the ball out of her mouth and toss it again and again. That‘s part of her fun. To her the bunny was a warm, soft and tasty tennis ball.
Fearing the worst, my wife grabbed her and forced open her jaws. The bunny dropped, lifeless to the ground. Though Molly was prancing and hopping and hoping for a game of fetch, to her credit, my wife did not throw the bunny across the yard.
For a second, the bunny was motionless. Molly was straining to get to her new toy when it suddenly got up and ran for broke. It deserves an Oscar for it’s play acting. Safely through the fence, the bunny lived to see another day.
My wife later told me how the bunny had screamed when caught. I did not believe her. I’ve never heard a bunny make any noise, let alone a scream. I have also never seen President Trump solve a sudoku, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
Then yesterday while enjoying a cold beverage on the porch, our solitude was pierced by an eery, wailing plaintive cry. I looked over to see Molly furiously nosing through the Black-Eyed Susans. Apparently she was close enough to make the bunny scream. She smelled it but couldn’t see it. I can only imagine that the little fella was calling out in a desperate attempt for mom or dad to come to its' rescue. Being rabbits, however, neither parent reappeared to take on the fearsome beast that is Molly.
I dragged Molly away and the bunny continued to scream for just a minute. Then it was over. Did I really hear that? How do I know it was a rabbit and not a wolverine, or a badger.
I don’t. But my wife assures me that it was the same type of scream she heard a month ago.
For days after whenever Molly was outside she would head straight for the flower bed hoping to find the bunnies again. She would even stand at the window above the flowers and look earnestly for her hidden treasure. We kept her out of the flowers and eventually she forgot about the bunnies.
This all makes me wonder if there are other sounds made by woodland creatures that I have not heard. Can a deer sing? Do raccoons speak to each other? For instance, “ I’ll cross the road first, wait for my signal”?
I learned two things that day. Never assume you know everything about your pet, and open your ears to the sounds of nature. You just may hear the blood-curdling scream of a forest dweller coming from your flower bed.