Meet Bon-Bon, our Easter bunny backyard

by: Corey Comstock

It’s the time of year for Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies and baskets full of goodies. My wife, Cindy, and I are too old to find Easter eggs, and our nest has been empty for quite a while now.

But the chocolate Easter bunnies?

Yeah, we got that.

OK, it’s not really chocolate and not really bunnies. They’re rabbits, swamp rabbits to be exact, and we consider it a treat anytime we jump in our garden and munch on the weeds. We haven’t always had a family of chocolate-colored Easter bunnies mowing the grass in the garden, no. Strangely, it all started with a hurricane and a tornado.

Do you remember Hurricane Dorian in 2019? Cindy and I worked at the Pet Friendly Animal Shelter during this storm as this is just one of the many services the Flagler Humane Society provides to our pet community.

When we got home from the storm, we realized a tornado had landed behind our house, knocking over a significant sized pine tree, root ball and everything. A large pit gaped where the tree stood, now overlooked by the bristling roots of the side tree. I marveled at the magnificent warren this would make for one of our neighborhood creatures and a certain swamp rabbit agreed.

We were rocking in our Adirondacks on the porch in the early evening when Cindy pointed the screen at a small furball in the yard.

“Look, it’s a rabbit! “

Sure enough, the little creature pulled green things from our lawn and nibbled incessantly, the leafy foliage hanging from its hairy lips.

In her usual spontaneity, Cindy nicknamed her with a nickname. “She looks like a little chocolate Easter bunny, so I’ll call her Bon-Bon.”

Swamp rabbits live near freshwater swamps because they are great swimmers, always ready to dive into the water to escape predators. They have rabbits, short, rounded ears, and small feet.

Mama-Kazi, our daredevil squirrel, gaped at this huge beast with obvious disbelief, wondering how this particular squirrel had managed to get so big. She tiptoed towards the giant squirrel but, unfazed, Bon-Bon continued to chew.

The stare lasted a good five minutes, neither of them giving way. Finally, Bon-Bon sprang forward, demarcated the end of our backyard trellis, and disappeared into the storeroom. We thought that was the end of it but no, Bon-Bon showed up the next day at dusk, munching on whatever was delicious there.

“We have to make a door for him,” said my wife.

And when she says “we”. she really means “me,” and the next thing I know, I’m sawing a rabbit hole so our little chocolate bunny can come and go.

Bon-Bon has become a staple in our backyard, and it tickles us every time she shows up. She does not like grass cut too short or too tall because then our marsh grass loses its appeal. Eventually I found the perfect spot on the lawn mower that keeps weeds at the correct chewing height.

Your won. Courtesy photo

A few months later, another rabbit appeared quite unexpectedly. This one was a fraction of Bon-Bon’s size, sort of the size of Mama-Kazi, obviously a juvenile, and more earthy in color.

You see, breeding can happen anytime with these promiscuous little rabbits.

And, yes, Cindy immediately dubbed a name for this one too.

“Look, it’s Won-Ton! “

Alicia R. Rucker