Herald-Journal
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, July 19, 1999

Keep those rabbits out of the kitchen

By OPAL "GRANDMA" HABISCH

When I was a little girl, we had a couple of rabbits that lived in our shed. Most of the time, they were in our garden.

There was only cabbage growing in the garden, but my dad said we had better pick it before the rabbits ate it. So we picked it and we left the outer leaves that we didn't need laying on the ground.

One day my dad said, "Those crazy rabbits are carrying the old cabbage leaves under the porch."

"Why would they do that?" I asked.

"I don't know," my dad answered, "maybe they are getting ready for winter."

Then we didn't see the rabbits for a long time. Fall came, and the weather started getting cold.

Dad said, "Guess what. We have a family living under our porch. It is Peter Rabbit and there are four little rabbits."

I ran outside to see them, but they ran away as soon as I came near them. My mother suggested that I bring them some food. I brought out some cabbage and laid it on the steps for them, but they didn't come out from under the porch.

I went into the house and then my mother said, "Look at that family eat."

Sure enough, the rabbit family was on the porch steps eating the cabbage.

I started bringing them food every day and eventually, they would come out to eat it while I was there. After awhile, I could touch them. The rabbits even started sleeping up on the porch and they let me pet them.

Dad said, "I will put a couple of forkfuls of hay in the shed for them for the winter. I also have some corn for them in the shed, too.

But the rabbits didn't go to the shed; they stayed under the porch. The babies were growing very big and they were still very tame.

One day, someone left the door open and the rabbits hopped right into the house. No one was at home and they had a great time hopping around and chewing my mother's plants.

When I came home and found them there, I chased them back outside. I decided not to say anything to my parents.

That night at dinner my mother said, "Were you in the chocolate chips?"

"No, Mother, I didn't have any," I said.

"Well, who was eating them?" Mother asked. "They are spilled all over the floor in the kitchen. Now, I won't have enough left to make cookies. Were you eating them, Dad?"

"I don't know what you are talking about," Dad said.

"Well, come and see then," Mother said. And she brought us into the kitchen.

Dad looked at the spilled "chips" and said, "I don't want any of those cookies. Were those rabbits in the house?"

Then I had to admit that I had chased the rabbits out when I got home from school.

"I think I will buy some cookies from the store," Dad said and everybody laughed.

The rabbits did end up going to live in the shed for the winter and by spring, there were three families living there.

So if you decide to bake cookies, be sure there aren't any rabbits running around in your kitchen!


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