Urban gardening and wildlife

Dear Bunnwa Jr. Jr.,

As a signatory to the 1999 Backyard Treaty, I must remind you that you and your extended rabbit family are obligated to respect Experimental Unfenced Garden Beds according to Article 3. That newly sown area near the back spruce tree is not for wallowing, nor are you a buffalo. If you must have dirt for this purpose, please wallow in the wild area near the compost bins and back by the shed. Having a charming nickname does not entitle you to flaunt the treaty requirements. I have tried my best to plant only unappetizing things in Experimental Unfenced Garden Beds as I know how hard it is to resist treats. Remember you retain in perpetuity first wallowing and eating rights to the entire pesticide-free lawn.

I have ignored the apple tree damage (a violation of Article 2) done by the Bunnwa family this late spring as I realize it was supposed to be spring and you were probably hungry. Plan ahead next year, as all our fruit trees will be receiving chicken wire protection late this fall.  If you could have a word with the squirrels (see below), I promise to stop muttering about hawks within earshot of any rabbit in the yard.

Sincerely, Cindy


Dear Squirrels,

Despite having access to several excellent trees and sharing lawn rights with the rabbits (see above), you persist in violating Article 1 of the Backyard Treaty of 1999. I thought we had moved on since the two years in a row you eat all the edamame (we had no idea that the translation of “edamame” in Squirrel was “delicious green squirrel treats”) and the years you took one bite each out of many tomatoes right before they were ready to pick and dropped them on the ground. If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought you were reading the Ramona books.

The vegetable seeds have barely broken the ground surface this spring, and already you are digging in the soft dirt and damaging the plants. Really, how could you have buried a nut there last fall when there was no digging there last fall? I have no choice but to give you notice. I am invoking the Chicken-Wire Anti-Digging Clause of the Treaty for the baby veg plants, and when the vegetables themselves start growing, HOT PEPPER SAUCE. And that new fairy garden next to the kale, DON’T even think about it. That gardener is one of your friends!

Hoping we don’t need to renegotiate the treaty,


p.s. I am still willing to share some of the apples with you this fall. Some of the apples, mind, not all. And check in with Bunnwa – if they keep eating the bark, you may not have any apples to steal share.


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