After a few days of being in their exercise pen, Flopsie & Mopsie discovered they could poke their heads into the netting which had holes about an inch-and-a-half wide and squeeze their way out. “The rabbits are out, the rabbits are out,” became a familiar cry. “Get the fishing net, get the fishing net,” I would yell. It was like a circus as we ran around the yard chasing them. My husband would have to use the fishing net to scoop them up, and dump them back into their playpen.
So it was back to the hardware store for another roll of netting, wrapping it around to make a double layer so they couldn’t pop their heads out. Then they discovered they could squeeze their way UNDER the netting or chew their way out with their tiny but razor sharp teeth.
My husband was determined however so he bought a roll of metal fencing this time, staking it into the ground and wrapping it around the playpen to make a third layer. He also made the fence higher, because a Google search said that a 3 foot high fence was optimum for keeping rabbits out—although in our case, we wanted to keep them IN.
They kept popping out like popcorn however and we kept having to chase them. Afterwards my husband would look for the holes, patch them up, and gleefully say, “OK, this time I got it fixed for good!”—only to have them escape the next day. One day we saw them clawing their way UP the fencing, teetering on the edge, and falling over to the outside and freedom. Who knew that rabbits could CLIMB? They looked like little monkeys! So it was back to the hardware store, this time for bird netting to drape over across the top of the playpen. It began to look like an armed camp or the shelter of a homeless person.
Well, things settled down for a while, but as they grew larger and with the exercise they were getting in their playpen, their hindlegs grew stronger. One day we found them taking a running leap onto the footstools that served as their shelter, and bounding through the bird netting out of their playpen into the yard. Our jaws dropped: “Did you see that, did you see that?!” we exclaimed. It was an amazing feat of acrobatic agility.
I decided that the playpen wasn’t working any longer and that they needed to have the run of the entire backyard which was bordered by a wrought iron fence leading to a golf course. The problem was that the bars of the fence were spaced too widely apart to contain the rabbits so I told my husband, You’re going to have to add fencing to it so that they don’t get out onto the golf course, or into the side yards of our two neighbors, one of which has a pit bull.
So out in the hot sun, his face dripping with perspiration, my poor husband tediously tied chicken wire and industrial strength black plastic fencing to the wrought iron fence, using bricks to anchor it all down. Now our whole backyard looked like an armed camp. (to be continued)