I will never forget the morning my mom carried me outside, explaining, “You are going to get to stay in the backyard now, Lucky. You will have so much more room to hop and play.”
What? Outside? I have been indoors in a rabbit hutch my whole life. I don’t know how to defend myself outside.
Mom sat down on the patio with me in her lap. The sun was already high in the sky. A thousand strange smells filled my nose. I sat nervously not about to move from the security of Mom’s lap. My ears flattened against my back to shield them from a loud thumping and clanging noise that went past the other side of the fence.
“It’s just the garbage truck, Lucky. It’s alright. Come on, I will walk you around,” Mom said, placing me on the ground.
Mom stood up and took a few steps. I sat frozen in place for a moment, before deciding that it was better to follow her than stay by myself.
I hopped at Mom’s heels. As we left the patio, I froze again. Suddenly, I was next to a big body of water that stretched the length of the yard.
“Hop around the pool, Lucky. It’s not warm enough to swim yet,” Mom called.
I gave the pool a cautious glance and sniffed at the water as I crept to the edge. Nope. I am not going swimming.
I stayed along the flowerbed edge as I followed Mom around the pool.
As a branch brushed off Mom’s legs, it swung back into my face.
Pesky thing. I will get this off the path.
I easily chewed through the tomato plant branch, and was about to spit it out when, I realized this tastes delicious.
I watched Mom just up ahead of me as I munched on the branch. I then grabbed another branch as I hopped to catch up with Mom.
As I stopped at her feet, I noticed a small feathered creature walking under the brush just in front of where Mom and I stopped.
I stretched as long as I could to get a sniff of the new creature. Just as I was getting a whiff, the creature flapped and got itself up on the fence. I jumped in surprise and darted behind Mom’s legs.
“It’s ok, Lucky. It is just a bird,” Mom explained.
As I recovered from my scare, I grabbed a mouthful of the nearby bush. Hey, this bush is good too. I like this variety of treats. Maybe this yard won’t be bad.
We continued on around the pool. As Mom walked across the grass, to check on a spot by the fence, I took a mouthful of grass and a few slow hops on the grass.
The grass was soft and the sun was warm; the combination made me happy. I ran in a quick circle before frisking across the grass.
This is fun!
Mom and I continued across the grass, until we came to a big mound of dirt. Mom carefully stepped around it, but I sniffed it. As soon as I put my nose to it, dozens of tiny moving creatures came out of the dirt and crawled toward me.
I hopped back in surprise.
Mom knelt down next to me, “Leave the ants alone, Lucky. Let’s make sure none of them are on you.”
Mom brushed me off carefully, and then we continued back to the patio where we started.
“I am going to bring your food and water dish out here. I will be right back,” Mom told me.
I watched her disappear through the door to the house.
Who needs that old food dish when I have a whole yard of fresh greens.
I frisked off the patio and wandered through flower bed after flower bed, sampling each plant as I went.
As Mom reappeared from the house, I reached the grass on the backside of the pool, and I was frisking happily from one end to the other.
“You like it out here, don’t you, Lucky?” Mom asked.
I did another happy frisk and dashed, in response to show her my answer.
As I neared the bush again, the bird had returned. This time I was able to sniff him, and he eyed me without flying away.
I grabbed a mouthful of leaves and chewed thoughtfully. This yard isn’t scary any more. Now I have a new birdy friend, and all the fresh greens I can eat. I will like living outside.
Mom stayed outside with me awhile longer, but when she went inside, I barely noticed. I was flopped in the dirt next to the tomato plant. It’s shade was the perfect spot for an afternoon nap.
Yes, outside life is the life for me.