cherry pie and baby bunnies

Last week on the way home from piano lessons, I hit a bird.  My children, who are unable to get along while riding in the van lately (unless there’s an audio book playing, why don’t I have any audio books right now?) were arguing in the backseat and I was a little fed up with them generally speaking.  So when I saw the blackbird sitting in the road just ahead of me, I didn’t pour all of my focus into how I would avoid hitting it.  I assumed it would fly out of the way, as birds nearly always do.  At the last moment, I realized that this bird didn’t seem to be moving so I swerved a little to the left so that it wouldn’t end up under one of my tires.  Somehow I managed to hit it anyway.  Evidently all of my children had noticed the bird and what they perceived as my lack of efforts to avoid hitting it.  Larkspur shouted from the very back, “Mommy you just hit that bird and there’s blood everywhere!”  Keats chimed in, “Why didn’t you stop?  Daddy would have honked to make it move!”  And it continued.

I love animals.  I’m maybe a little over the top in my love for animals.  I thought that the bullfrog my kids picked up out of the road a couple of weeks ago was so cute that I threatened to kiss it.  (I promise, I didn’t.  But I tried to convince my girls that they ought to just to see if he might turn into a prince.)  I was unhappy that I hit that bird.  It certainly wasn’t my intention.  My reaction time was just too slow.  As my kids mounted what was truly a bizarre verbal attack, I checked my rear view mirror and slammed on the brakes.  I’ll admit that I kind of love doing that for maximum impact.  Obviously it isn’t an option to just slam on the brakes in the middle of the road very often, but we were on our little country road and there weren’t any cars behind me.  I don’t remember what I said beyond my first sentence, “Have any of you ever known me to hurt an animal intentionally!”  I informed them that they were being cruel and suggested that it stop immediately.  I used my very serious voice.  I don’t know what got into them that day.  Arguing in the van because so and so “touched my seatbelt” is one thing, but this was a strange and unprecedented attack on me.

Later that day, I was lying in bed nursing Job when I heard doors start slamming downstairs and children running.  “Mommy!!  Seth killed a baby bunny!”  Oh, no.

Evidently, while doing some clearing in the backyard Seth uncovered a nest of baby rabbits, mortally wounding one in the process.  I felt bad for hitting that bird, but I don’t think my feelings even compared to how awful Seth felt.  I mean, who wants to kill an adorable baby bunny?  I resisted all urges to compare this accident to mine earlier in the day (one small step on the road to sainthood-ha!) and just did my best to comfort Seth.  Evidently, a second baby bunny hopped into a nearby briar patch after the incident, and Larkspur picked up the third.  The girls had high hopes that we would have to keep the bunny, in order to “save” it.  It was the cutest thing ever, and I wanted my turn! to hold it, but I was holding my own cute baby human.  I explained that the baby bunny was a wild animal and that it would need to be returned to the place where Seth found it.  Seth did a quick internet search about wild rabbits and read that their mothers only nurse them once per day for about five minutes, and that she would look for them when she returned to find the nest disturbed.  Baby Bunny was placed under the briar patch where it’s sibling had hopped and we hope it was reunited with its mommy.

Now what we are facing is areas of our property that need to be cleared to maintain them as a meadow, and children who say that there can be no clearing of any kind until the dead of winter.  I don’t know how this will play out.  Baby bunnies are really cute.

Jonny dropped me at the grocery store on Saturday and then took the kids to pick sour cherries from a couple of nearby roadside trees.  Sour cherries are a once a year thing, so I went all out this time and made a sour cherry pie.  I got fancy, even using one of the kids play dough toys to cut the top crust and make it pretty.  I almost feel guilty even mentioning it, because I know that fresh sour cherries are hard to come by, but it turned out so good, and so pretty.  I used this recipe, and it was absolutely perfect.

Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    I’m glad you posted about the land clearing and this bunny post. Somehow I had missed this post and I have wondered a few times if the cherries had been picked this year. :)

  2. helene says:

    My quick reading played a trick on me upon reading the comments : it went from reading about finding/killing by mistake baby bunnies and racoons to reading about ‘delicious rabbit pie’ instead of ‘delicious cherry pie’… I am really sorry but I just had to laugh when I realised my mistake. (I AM french, so rabbit pie probably doesn’t as horrifying to me as it does to you, even though I promise you I have personally never baked anything close to a rabbit !!)

    Also, the slamming on the break trick… Good one ! I used it when the kids were little and would sneakily undo their seatbelts, just to show them. Hard lesson, but it worked.

    About the noise and the aguing, I would turn the radio very very very loud, to the point where it was unbearable for everyone… (“Children, there is no reason why I should be the only one suffering with your noise, so we can share!”)

  3. Wendy says:

    The sibling arguing has been going on around here, too. Yesterday the highlight was the two youngest fighting over a game of basketball that was being played with and IMAGINARY ball; I even had to laugh at that one!

    I give you credit for not bringing up the events earlier in the day after the bunny incident–I probably would not have been so gracious.

    My husband accidentally killed a baby bunny last year (he thought it was a rat)–very sad; we have been seeing mama bunny around here for the last couple of weeks, so hoping we don’t have a repeat this year.

    Also, every year hubby wants to start clearing brush during nesting season, and I beg him to wait until all the babies are hatched (and he does wait, without complaining!).

  4. Dana says:

    Ahhh…. Ginny! I love how you ‘keep it real’! My mom hit a goose in the road approx 1 year ago. Same scenario (well – no children in the backseat arguing). But she thought it would move and it didn’t! She felt just awful (wouldn’t we all?)
    I rescued a baby bunny from one of my kitties approx 2 weeks ago! Kitty (fortunately) released it without a fuss and it made a beeline across the yard! So hopefully, kitty hadn’t injured it too badly! We can only do what we can do and leave the rest to God!
    many blessings…

  5. Brenda says:

    Oh goodness. We just rescued three baby raccoons from our tree last week. The facility said this is the busiest season by far. Bunnies are so adorable. The raccoons eyes weren’t even open yet, my they were pretty adorable too.

  6. Kate says:

    There is nothing tastier than a sour cherry pie–yours looks gorgeous!

  7. Emily says:

    I, too, am an animal lover…hence, my kids are too. We have rescued (and tried to rescue) so many little critters in and around our yard…I even let a spider stay in her web above one of my kitchen cabinets through-out the entire fall. We called her “Charlotte”.

    Your cherry pie looks absolutely amazing!!!

  8. Uncle Jared says:

    When one of ours kills an animal, we make them eat it – unless it’s a spider or cockroach.

  9. Lisa says:

    Oh my. You handled that well, Ginny. :) We’re inundated with baby bunnies right now…tis the season! Your pie looks delicious!

  10. Holly Nelson says:

    A few similar things have happened to me in my lifetime. I am similar to you and am a real animal lover. I guess these things so happen, but I know how mortifying they can be when they do. I ran over a rabbit that had myxomatosis once and chopped off it’s back leg. It was going to die of the disease anyway, but the thought that I had contributed to it’s pain. I took it to the farmer and he put it out of it’s misery for me and I felt like the worst human being. These things do happen though and that’s just life :(

  11. Oh Ginny, your words really struck me in this post. Being an animal lover and advocate since as far back as I can remember, I can so feel what you were feeling, and Seth, too. I know that pain, I accidentally hit (my first and I pray ONLY animal)-a whistle pig on the way to Mass 2 weeks ago. I, too, was distracted by fighting kids. My heart broke and fell into the pit of my stomach. But you and Seth both do so much good for the animals you come in contact with. I don’t know if that is any consolation, but it’s true! And you are teaching your children love and reverence towards God’s creatures, it truly shows!!

    I remember jumping out of a moving van on an oceanography filed trip in college (to the outer banks, no less) because the driver hit a dog and I had to rescue it. Reckless? Yes, but I would probably do it again. My heart has always been so big for our animal kind, and my children seem to be following in my footsteps – taking their jobs of protectors very seriously (that’s how we view God giving us dominion over the animals).

    XOXO

  12. Susan says:

    Did you make the crust gluten free or regular – if so, how did you do it? :)

    • Ginny says:

      just regular. I do believe there is a good gf pie crust recipe in the gluten free baking classics cookbook!

  13. Melissa says:

    I had a sour cherry tree in my backyard for 6 years before I realized I could make anything with them:) I’ll try to make a pie this year, unfortunately ours won’t be ready for another month

  14. Barbara says:

    Your pie looks wonderful — my favorite flavor of all. No sour cherries to be had around here. :-(

    We just saw the first bunny of the year yesterday. We live in the suburbs but on a wooded ravine and now have coyotes. There go the bunnies.

    I hit a cardinal once and he died instantly on the windshield. Oh, did it HAVE to be a cardinal? And a male? The two kids in the car accused me of the same thing — not avoiding it — when IT had flown into the car. I think kids are just so stunned by accidents they need to find a blame. Or maybe I am always quick to find a blame and they have learned? Something to think about.

  15. Theresa says:

    What a beautiful pie crust! (much nicer than any creations I’ve been able to manage with play-dough tools!)

  16. Heather says:

    We have had so many baby bunnies, and so much garden carnage :(. The pie looks amazing though, and I love the chicken wire on the cabinet.

    • Ginny says:

      I don’t know why we don’t have rabbits in the garden-maybe the cats keep them away? They wouldn’t be quite so cute if they were eating my vegetables….

  17. Cathy says:

    Those bunnies are cute but it is not too good when they attack the garden. I know. Had one eat my Swiss chard earlier this year. Alas. Cherry pie looks yummy!

  18. Grace says:

    We have two dwarf sour cherry trees in our backyard. Cherry pie (always properly made with sour cherries, never sweet!) is my favorite thing. The first year we lived here, birds ate all the cherries. Last year we lost the blossoms to a late frost and didn’t get any fruit. This year has to be our year!

  19. tara says:

    Oh no! Ugh, I would feel so horrible hitting a bird and then to have a verbal attack mounted at me? I’d burst into tears. Poor Seth. I can’t imagine. I’d burst into tears if I were him, too.

    I’m glad you ended on a lighter note with the cherry pie :) I was wondering how you made the crust so pretty — I love that you used Play-Doh toys haha!!

  20. KC says:

    I remember while I on a road trip with my grandfather two birds with 10 minutes of each other flew into the windshield of the truck we were driving. So sad. But those cherries really sound wonderful!

  21. karen says:

    I’ll never forget the day my husband accidentally killed a squirrel with a line drive during golf–I think there were two weeks of daily therapy from me (20+ yrs ago). We are animal lovers and sometimes bad things happen and it’s an accident. If that bird didn’t fly away it was seriously injured.

    So glad there was cherry pie, a very labor intensive treat!!

  22. Kate says:

    We love animals, but my 11yo is learning to hunt, so we’ve had to put them in their proper perspective. I and the girls were a bit squeamish when he shot his first cottontail with his air gun and proudly brought it in the house, holding it up by its ears. He shot another one a few days later. His older brother helped him skin them, they saved the fur, examined the entrails to see if they were healthy, and put the meat in the freezer. My son is still waiting for me to cook him up his rabbit stew. Fortunately, one of the ladies at our local plant nursery knows all about cooking game since her husband hunts and provides a lot of their food, so she gave me the low-down on cooking rabbit. When you have fruit trees, you become very hardhearted towards birds. We’ve told our son there are certain birds (mockingbird!) that he can’t shoot, but he’s done a pretty good job of keeping the blasted starlings out of the trees.

    • Ginny says:

      My boys keep talking about it, but so far I haven’t been presented with anything to cook. The baby bunny killing was different, because it was an accident and the killing wasn’t quick or painless. It was one of those traumatic events that required dad to put the bunny out of its misery. A real bummer.

  23. Elizabeth says:

    oh lovely pie!

    oh dear, sounds like the kids were being tempted in that car; it is so HARD to be a Christian sometimes, esp. when one felt attacked. So sorry and we still pray for you. Hang in there. I hope you can find some audio books soon. I am going to go light a candle for you and your family. God bless and keep you, give you strength, protection and mercy!

  24. Naomi says:

    I tend to be a ‘death is a fact of life’ girl as far as animals are concerned, but even I felt terrible when I hit a squirrel once. Poor Seth! (I’d be soooo tempted to remind them of earlier events!) Maybe the clearing doesn’t have to wait for winter though, only until cute little bunnies are big enough to hop away when they hear people coming.

    • Ginny says:

      Naomi, I’m the same. I was far more upset about my kids yelling at me, than I was about hitting the bird. The baby bunny incident was hard though for the kids–it was kind of brutal, and Jonny had to put the poor thing out of it’s misery. It was the suffering part that was upsetting, more so than the death.

  25. K Turner says:

    Wiping drool off of screen. I’m not a cherry fan unless they are fresh. That looks yummy!

  26. Meryl says:

    Thanks for the recipe–some friends actually just brought us two big bags of sour cherries and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them. So sorry to hear about the bunny and bird casualties. I, too, have had that experience with a bird that just didn’t move in time.

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