Friday, August 3, 2012

"A Bunny's Garden of Eatin' "

By Jerry Zezima
The Stamford Advocate

A wascally wabbit is wavaging my wife’s stwaberry patch.

Sorry, it must be all those Bugs Bunny cartoons I watched as a kid. What I meant to say is that a rascally rabbit is ravaging my wife’s strawberry patch.

The strawberries are the prizes in the various gardens that my wife, Sue, has planted around the house.

She would never let me plant a garden because I have a green thumb. I think it’s a fungus. I really ought to see a doctor.

In the 14 years we have lived in our house, I have killed virtually every form of flora I have encountered. It’s a good thing I don’t know anyone named Flora or I’d be in jail right now.

I once had my own herb garden in which I grew parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. (I apologize if you can’t get the song out of your head.) Herb, Sage and Rosemary had a menage a twine, which I used to tie up the tomato plants in the adjacent vegetable garden. It was pretty kinky. My deadly touch tragically put an end to their love nest.

The only thing I couldn’t kill was a humongous butterfly bush that grew about 12 feet tall and threatened to engulf the side of the house. Sue wanted me to remove it (the bush, not the side of the house), but my pathetic little handsaw had about as much effect as a plastic knife would have on a giant sequoia. So I had it chopped down by a landscaper whose name wasn’t Paul Bunyan but should have been. I played the role of Babe, not because I’m as strong as an ox but because I’m as dumb as one.

It was, therefore, a pretty risky proposition when I recently asked Sue if she needed help planting flowers. Maybe it’s because she had been out in the sun too long, but she kindly accepted.

“My Gerber daisies are doing very well,” she noted as we began our work.

“Gerber? You mean like the baby food?” I wondered. “You must have bought them in a nursery.”

I could tell that Sue regretted accepting my offer, but it was too late to do anything about it.

“I want to plant these flowers,” she said, indicating the flats on the patio, “so you have to dig some holes in the bed.”

“How will we get to sleep?” I asked.

Sue gave me a look that explained why the flowers are called impatiens.

I dutifully dug, but the holes weren’t deep enough, so Sue took the trowel and showed me the right way to do it. “You can just hand me the flowers,” she said. “I don’t want you to kill them.”

One thing that Sue trusts me to do is the watering. It is often my job to provide liquid nourishment not only for her flowers and herbs but for the strawberries in the side yard. They are sweet and succulent. Unfortunately, the rabbit thinks so, too.

“That bunny is eating all my strawberries,” Sue lamented. “I don’t know what to do.”

“Why don’t you put up a sign saying, ‘Silly rabbit, strawberries are for people’?” I suggested.

“Silly man,” Sue responded, “rabbits can’t read.”

Most mornings, when I am heading off to work, the rabbit will be sitting in the front yard, twitching its nose. Then it will look at me like I have two heads. Or one head with two very short ears.

One day I said, “Our friends have a pet rabbit named Stew.”

The bunny hopped away.

But it didn’t stay away for long. It came back later that evening, presumably for a strawberry dinner. Sue and I have actually grown fond of the little critter, so we don’t really mind sharing our bounty.

It’s a good thing I’m not responsible for the strawberry patch. The poor rabbit would starve.
Copyright 2012 by Jerry Zezima


Dave Astor said...

"Strawberry Fields (Are Not) Forever..."

That's a version of a song sung by contemporaries of those parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme guys. Not sure if they sang in a garden (Madison Square).

Hilarious column, Jerry!

Jerry Zezima said...

Dave, that bunny would say you were funny, and altogether punny. But since rabbits can't talk, I'll say it. Thanks for the great comment!

Cathy Turney said...

No garden of eatin’ for you, Jerry! Hilarious!

The gods have showered their wrath on my garden, too! I have known drought (when MyHusbandTheEngineer miscalculated the cubic inches of water my sweet pea seeds needed). I have known barren soil (the result of MHTE’s memory lapse; he sprayed pre-emergent weed killer on my sweet pea patch the year before). I’ve known pestilence - oh wait, no, pestilence requires something for the bugs to feed on which presupposes there being vegetation, which will never grow in my sweet pea patch but fluorishes in my husband’s tomato garden. That must be where I saw pestilence.

How blessed you are to have some fruit to show for your labor!!!

LOVED this story!!

xo, Cathy

JustRex said...

We have several gardens going at the prison to donate to the local food pantries. We are apparently also donating to the local wild bunnies, birds, squirrels, skunks and at least one fox that we see almost every night. The critters eat about a third of the ripe fruit and veggies before they get harvested.

There's nothing we can do about it, so we just enjoy watching the critters.

JustRex said...

Usually when I start cracking wise like that around my wife, she just sends me away and threatens me with whatever is handy.

Luckily I can run pretty fast.

Jerry Zezima said...

Thank you, Cathy! Drought, Baron Soil and Pestilence -- sounds like a rock group. Especially if there are rocks in the garden. There certainly are rocks in my head, but that's another story. Or column. In the meantime, we do, indeed, have some fruit to show for Sue's labor. The rabbit is very grateful.

Jerry Zezima said...

Thanks, Darev2005. Are those critters in jail for stealing? Oh, well, they have to eat, too. My wife wanted to send me away for cracking wise, but I hung around and cracked wise some more. I can't run -- or, like the bunny, hop -- as fast as I used to.

Foxyroxy said...

Does the bunny have a name ? I suggest Cassidy . Remember Hop-a-long Cassidy .

Jerry Zezima said...

Foxy, I will be hoppy to call the bunny Cassidy.