Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow


Now that April showers have turned into May flowers, you may be experiencing a dilemma like the one Marilyn had several years ago. She found a solution you might (or might not) want to try yourself—but either way, you’ll enjoy reading about her experience.

I love the word “solution.” It promises me a problem will be solved. How? Hearing the solution and putting that solution to work. I’ll give you a little background about why I’m so excited about a recently-discovered solution to a most distressing problem I have had.

Each spring I plant a gorgeous garden of flowers: petunias, snapdragons, AND pansies (to name a few). I love my flowers. The problem is, so do the neighborhood rabbits! Shortly after my plantings each year (three years if I’m counting) the ravenous and relentless appetites of multiple rabbit families descend upon my garden and eat each little plant right down to the nubbins. Then they have the audacity to stand outside my window mouthing the words “We’re still hungry.” So like any conscientious moron, I replant. Like any brilliant rabbit family who knows a moron when they see one, they again descend upon my new plantings, reducing them to “nubness.” For years I have been in need of a solution for my victimization.

Three weeks ago it happened: the solution. I was getting a haircut and complaining about the high cost of keeping the neighborhood rabbits fed. One of the women having a root touch-up turned from her magazine and said “I can tell you exactly how to get rid of your rabbits…human hair…they are repulsed by human hair. All you have to do is spread hair around the roots of your flowers. I promise they will flee.”

I looked at Natalie who was cutting my hair. It was 3:l5 in the afternoon so her wastebasket contained a day’s worth of hair. She stopped cutting, stared at me a moment and then said “You want it?” It seemed like such a hairbrained idea but I loved the quirkiness of it―and of course, I was desperate. “Yeah, I really want it!” She grabbed a Wal-Mart bag out of her cupboard, dumped the hair supply into it, and within seconds I sailed out the door with a bag of rabbit solution.

On the way home I started thinking about when I should do the hair sprinkling. I felt self-conscious about being seen crawling through my garden sifting wisps of hair around. I decided to wait until 8:00 pm when I could do my work under the cover of approaching nightfall.

When I felt I had sufficient twilight, I started hairing up my backyard flower beds. I was surprised to find I soon lost enthusiasm for the project: my back hurt, my fingers lost “nimbility” and the hair gave me the creeps. There was brown hair, black hair, blond hair, grey hair (mine) and multicolored hair starting at the roots. By the time I reached the front yard I was eager to be finished and no longer sifting the hair. I was dropping it about in clumps which could be mistaken for poorly maintained little toupees.

I was nearly finished when a car approached my house going very slowly. I did not want to turn around…I did not want to be recognized…I continued dropping hair clumps. The car then pulled into my driveway. With the motor still running I heard the window lower and the familiar voice of my friend Luci Swindoll. Her words:

“What in the world are you doing? I drove over here to see why you are not answering your phone and I see you hunkered down among your flowers with a Wal-Mart bag in your left hand, a rubber glove on your right hand and you’re tossing something about.”

I rose up to my full height and told her what I’d learned about a rabbit solution (she too is plagued with hungry rabbits) and that I had a day’s hair supply given to me by Natalie when I got my hair cut that afternoon.

She stared wordlessly at me for at least a full minute. I figured she was thinking maybe the idea made sense and perhaps she’d better try it too. Instead she leaned out the window and in a loud conspiratorial whisper said, “Marilyn, do you realize you are spreading the DNA of perfect strangers all over your property? I’m sure that’s not even moral! And not only that, what do you think the neighbors are thinking? You look as if you’re trying to destroy evidence from a crime scene!”

I accused her of watching too many episodes of CSI but I took her up on the offer to go get a soy latte chai tea. Until that moment, it had not been a pleasant evening.

Here’s the great ending to this story. I have no more rabbits! I think they all scooted immediately over to Luci’s property where there continues to be good eating. What puzzles me though is Luci refuses my hair solution. I got a new hair-bag yesterday which I offered to share. She says she cannot accept my offer because it would compromise her moral standards.

Perhaps my solution for rabbits will not meet with universal acceptance but Luci agrees when we need universal solutions for all things human, we look to Scripture. In fact, “Proverbs” is the perfect answer book for those times when we’re in need of wisdom. I’m surprised “hare today…gone tomorrow” is not a proverb.