What Happens When the Fur Starts Flyin’


My voice just bounced off the walls; absorbed by no one. We needed to be on the road in 30 minutes, dressed and ready for two baseball games. Where the hell was everyone?

Hearing noises outside, I marched onto the deck looking as fierce and furious as one can in a bathrobe. I opened my mouth to yell but noticed all three boys and their father lined up on the landing below me staring at the lawn.

What the what?

I followed their gaze.

Nothing. Not childbirth. Not those internet videos with graphic warnings. Nothing prepared me for what I saw.

In the yard, my sweet, loving, pretend I’m a lap dog even though I’m not, Murphy, was clawing furiously at a hole by the deck post.


By the time I got there, Murphy was on bunny number 4. Said bunny–no bigger than a well fed mouse– was in his mouth lifeless. He dropped him and went back to the hole for number 5.

Even my screams of horror didn’t deter Murphy from his work.

I don’t know what freaked me out more. My dog, who was showing a Hannibal Lecter side I never knew existed, or all of my insensitive humans cheering him on.

My entire family was thoroughly entertained. Like they had paid good money for a front row seat and it was worth every penny.

Now to their credit, they had tried to stop Murphy but he growled, circled his prey and was sure to attack anyone that got in his way.

Oh My God

I went back inside to get dressed. Somehow I thought I could deal better clothed.

When I came back, it was worse. The yard looked like Antietam circa 1862. Absolute carnage. Fur, blood and body parts littered the grass.

And everyone was still transfixed. Baseball was no longer our household pastime.

So, I took matters into my own hands. Seeing that Murphy had, apparently, depleted his supply of fresh kill, I ran inside and got the bag of treats we hide for extreme, canine bribing situations.

I took a bone out and waved it around while crinkling the bag. Not only did the dog come running. The kids came inside as well.

Show over.

While the kids got on their uniforms, my husband assured me that this was normal dog behavior. He went on to explain that they would all be gone by the morning. You know, the hawks, fox and cats would carry them off.

So, I was supposed to sleep like a baby while my backyard was Mutual of Freakin’ Omaha’s Wild Kingdom?

Fat chance.

I had no choice but to leave for baseball, hoping that word would spread while we were gone. I pictured little woodland creatures, chatting, like in Snow White and spreading the word about some awesome eats at the Stiles’.

No such luck. At 11pm, I walked out of the garage as my son’s flashlight app illuminated all the dead bunnies in the yard.

Sometimes the reality that life is not a Disney movie hits harder than others.

Again, I got reassurances that they would all be gone in the morning. Poof, like it never happened. I stared at my homicidal dog as he lay curled up in his bed. I was sure that I would never let his rabbit killing mouth lick me again.

When I think of that poor mommy bunny coming back to her nest, I just can’t even…

Exhausted from 5+ hours at the ball field, I did indeed fall asleep. And when I woke up, guess what was still there?


How is it that animals will slink through my fence, up 15 stairs to the deck and eat a hole through a bag of trash placed in a chair but they completely ignore fresh meat?

I have seen enough National Geographic to know all about the food chain. My backyard was a gift to the animal kingdom dammit. What had we done to piss off nature so much?

I wailed to my husband that they were still there and I knew what he was going to say before he said it. It was trash day after all.

My coffee curdled in my stomach as I carried the trash bag out the door. I trailed behind my husband as he carried newspaper bags to scoop up the innocent victims. How did I get here? I mean, this is why you have boys. So you never have to touch anything with more than two legs, EVER.

The little bodies were so small, the bag felt no heavier as they were deposited in their final resting place with my coffee grounds. I couldn’t watch, but I was treated to scintillating dialogue like:

“Wow, this one is all busted up.”

“Watch out, don’t step on an eyeball.”

Seriously, if God had taken me right then, in that moment, I would have considered it an act of mercy.

My innocent pup was a man now and I just wanted to cry like a big old baby. It was gross and heartbreaking all at the same time. I needed a giant tub of Purell and a memory erasing drug. There are some things you can simply never unsee.

As the kids woke up one by one, they immediately asked about the bunnies. I related each traumatizing step of their disposal. I swear they wanted to open the trash bag and look. Only the fear that I might actually pass out, rendering me unable to cook breakfast, stopped them.

As with most things, I have found the silver lining to this devastating episode. Each time my kids groan and eye roll their way through a task I will say

“Have you scooped up dead bunnies today? No? Then quit complaining and get to work.”


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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos


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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos


WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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