Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Jan. 31, 2000

My daughter's furry summer visitor


When my daughter was a little girl, she loved baby animals. She was always bringing home baby birds that had fallen out of their nest or a kitten that had lost its mother.

There was only one kind of animal she would not pick up, even if it was a baby, and that was a snake.

We had a mother snake who lived in our garden. Snakes are good for the garden, as they eat harmful bugs.

One day, when I went into the garden to pick some vegetables, I found 10 baby snakes laying out in the sun. They were the size of pencils.

But when I went to get my daughter to show her how cute they looked, she would not even come out and look.

In fact, she refused to even go into the garden after that. I guess I never should have told her, because then I had to carry in all of the vegetables I needed from the garden all by myself.

One day, my daughter came home with a tiny baby rabbit.

When I looked at it, I said, "This is a tame rabbit."

"No," she said, "I found it in the tall grass. And I looked for a mother rabbit or other baby rabbits, but I couldn't find any rabbits around at all. I'm sure he is lost. Can I keep him?"

"Ask your daddy. Maybe he will make a box for the rabbit," I told her.

Daddy made a box and my daughter filled it full of grass.

"Now, go and pick the bunny some carrots," Daddy told her.

"But I don't want to go into the garden. There are snakes in there," my daughter said.

"The snakes are gone," Daddy told her. "And how will you feed your rabbit if you won't go into the garden to get his food?"

Well, my daughter didn't want her baby bunny to starve, so she went to the garden and picked a whole bunch of carrots.

"This way, I won't have to go back into the garden again for a very long time," she said.

My daughter named her rabbit Spot. She carried him with her everywhere she went.

If she brought him outside and set him down on the grass to play, he would run up on the porch and wait for her there. I think he thought that my daughter was his mother.

Soon, Spot got too big for his box. One night, he climbed up on a chair by a window where I had flowers, and he ate the tops off of all the flowers. After that, he stayed outside.

Spot followed my daughter everywhere she went. One Sunday, as we sat in church, Spot came walking down the aisle and everyone started to laugh.

The priest said, "Who's pet rabbit is this? Please take him out of church."

After that experience, my daughter closed Spot in the shed when she went somewhere.

When fall came, Spot was full grown. There seemed to be a lot of wild rabbits hanging around our place.

One day, Spot was gone. He had decided to join the other rabbits and live out in the woods with them.

My daughter was sad that he left, but she knew that Spot would be much happier living with his rabbit friends in the wild.

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