Just about to open the backdoor and let the dogs roar out into the backyard when I spotted this little guy…

Actually I noticed the tips of his ears first then hastily pulled the screen door shut before the dogs saw him and decided they were in the mood for a snack.

He’s been living under the deck since he was a tiny tiny bunny. I don’t know the familial structure of cottontail rabbits but he seems to have been on his own for a very long time. During the hottest days of this past summer I put out a bowl of water near his nest entrance and dropped some chopped carrots close by for good measure. We have kept an eye on him and so far so good. But we have plenty of red fox in the neighborhood

and now a few coyote have also been spotted.

About a month ago while watching a baseball game on TV and wildly cheering on our hometown team, the Phillies, we heard a horrible screeching from outside. After peering anxiously from various windows we decided to venture forth and check it out. (I know, I know, that is always the first step towards disaster in movie-land.) Anyway there was total silence until we got out into the middle of the yard. It was pitch black. Suddenly we heard noises in the distance and then what sounded like a growl from a mere 10 or 15 feet away. Yeow! I only wish I had a videotape of what happened next. Basically my friend J. and I reenacted a Laurel and Hardy movie with all the attendant physical missteps — running in circles, muted screaming and much waving of flashlights ensued. In the lead, shorter and fatter and wearing clogs not made for dashing through bushes and up steps, I ran with unexpected enthusiasm. J placed a hand in the center of my back as we raced up the steps and approached a narrow doorway. She swears she was helping me maintain balance, I contend there was a definite pushing going on. Of course about halfway through this whole escapade I started laughing and that slowed me even more. But we both made it into the house, nearly falling over the startled but curious dogs. We promptly locked and barred the door behind us as I envisioned a  fox 1/15th of our size staring after us and whispering to his mate, “What the hell was that?”