Once upon a time, a Momma bunny who was rather lacking in discretion, prepared a nest underneath the playfort belonging to the children who live at House of Horne. The location at the base of the playfort was not so much of a problem as was the yard in which the playset resided. For in addition to the children, two dogs spent much time in this yard. One would think the Momma Bunny should have had reviewed a text like “Make Way for Ducklings” before settling on such a dangerous location to raise her babies, but alas…
One fateful day, long after the bunnies were born, and grown to reasonable size, some movement or noise in the general region of their nest garnered the notice of the aforementioned canines. Had the lady of the house, or any of the sweet children who resided therein had any notion as to the carnage that would ensue, they surely would have shepherded these poor sweet rabbits to safety. But sadly, none of the humans who lived here had any idea that the rabbits had taken up residence on the grounds.
On Monday morning, the children’s mother glanced out her back window to see one of the dogs sniffing at something laying on the ground. Fearing it was a mouse (or, far worse: a rat!), the lady panicked, and called the man of the house to come attend to the situation.
It was a sad scene that greeted Papa Horne. One wee little rabbit lay expired, a mere few feet away from his birthplace. A second rabbit, already fatally wounded, was still hopping about, likely intent on escaping the evil clutches of the fierce canines.
The third rabbit miraculously avoided the dogs and cleverly hid himself between the corner fence post and the wood, squeezing his tiny body into the crevice there, ensuring the animals couldn’t reach him. Certainly, he did not anticipate that the tiniest member of the human family would be able to grab him, either. But this chubby-cheeked boy, intent on saving the poor frightened creature, scooped the rabbit up in his own wee hands, and, quite pleased with himself, held it up for his parents to see.
Once the adults determined that this third rabbit was unharmed save for certain trauma to his small system, they permitted the children to go about making the little invader comfortable. The children begged to keep the small brown rabbit as a pet (to add to the two dogs, two gerbils, and twenty-something odd fish already living at House of Horne) to no avail, but were promised they might care for it until it got over its shock.
E Pluribus Unum, as he was christened by the children, took up residence on the back deck, in a container filled with soft bedding, water, and food, set safely up high, away from the reaches of the murderous canines. For two days the bunny rested and recovered from his frightful experience, delighting the children by devouring the baby carrots they fed him.
On Tuesday night, it was determined that E.P.U. must be set free to live his life as a wild rabbit, for that is what God created him to be. There were tears, video footage shot of the emotional event, and prayers for his safety. In the end, the gentle humans set down the container which the bunny had called home for two days in a front flower bed where they hoped he might even someday return to seek shelter from the heat of the sun.
For now, the children hope and dream that their little bunny has encountered some other friendly rabbits in the area, and is finding a place to call home in the big wide world. Perhaps having tasted of the harshness of this life, he might cherish his freedom all the more, and someday when he chooses to settle down and raise a family, locate a safer haven for his own little bunnies.
And maybe, just maybe…on a dusky evening some day this summer, the children might catch a glimpse of the little creature they saved and cared for long ago as he frolicks and plays in the tall grass and bushes nearby. Or at least, they hope so.
I admit it: like many of the rest of you, I’ve gotten sucked into facebook. It is great fun, and after some decadent initial time-wasting, has been a great way to keep up with old friends and family all over the world.
But this mommy only has a certain amount of time in her day to play on the computer, so now that my attention has been divided, I think facebook is getting some of my best material! Since status updates max out at about 40 words, my usual verbosity is curbed, a blessing to my readers, I am sure. But I can’t keep all the good stuff from my faithful peeps here…..so I had to share this one.
Since receiving Guitar Hero for Christmas, my children have forayed into some new areas of music. They love it, and it’s great fun for the whole family. But it has its downsides. Those of you with multiple children know that despite how careful you were with your firstborn regarding what they saw/listened to, that it is nigh unto impossible to maintain that standard with the youngest when your firstborn is now ten. Ergo, our three year old now runs around singing stuff like this…
“Gotta hold on..to what we’ve got!
It doesn’t make a difference IF WE’RE NAKED OR NOT!”
in his loudest singing voice. I’m not quite sure that’s what Bon Jovi was talking about. Of course, this from the boy who dresses like this:
I have been experimenting more with pasta of late. It is a delightful basis for a meal because you can throw odds and ends of what you have in your fridge into a skillet with some garlic and olive oil, and produce an entree that tastes like you just sat down in a nice Italian restaurant.
For this latest dish, I wanted a meal that would have great flavor without too much spice. And that also would not use a lot of meat. Here is more or less what I threw together; you could adjust and change amounts and ingredients around to your liking without too much consequence, I am thinking, as long as you keep the basic proportions of sauce to meat/veggies. Do not be put off by what look like at first glance a large amount of ingredients; it is mostly various veggies I put into the dish and then a few liquids thrown in to create a delicious lemon-butter-wine sauce.
1 package (12-16oz) your pasta of choice (I used farfalle, or bow ties)
3 slices bacon (if it fits into your budget, I believe prosciutto would taste even better in this dish)
2 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 green onion
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced or chopped
1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1+ cup fresh spinach washed and dried
flour, for dredging chicken
1 chicken breast, cut into small bite-sized pieces
1 cup chicken stock (I make my own, but canned will do fine)
1-2 Tbs butter
1/2-ish cup white wine
lots of lemon juice (I am totally guessing here, but maybe a 1/3 cup?)
freshly ground black pepper
grated parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
Prepare your pasta “al dente” and set aside.
I used my electric skillet for the rest of this dish, but a large stovetop skillet would work well.
Cook your bacon, remove from skillet and set on paper towels to drain.
Remove bacon grease from skillet (I pour it out, then wipe the inside of the skillet with a paper towel).
Now to the skillet, add 1 Tbs of the olive oil and your garlic, stir to slightly cook, and add other vegetables up through the spinach. It won’t take long for these to cook through, maybe about 5 minutes. Remove veggies to a plate or the already used pasta pot till you need them.
Add the other 1Tbs of olive oil, and your flour-dredged chicken to the skillet. After chicken is cooked (about another five minutes) sprinkle a bit more flour into the chicken, and add your broth, butter, the wine, and lemon juice to the skillet. The liquid will thicken into a nice sauce. Crumble your bacon back into this mixture as the sauce thickens. Now add your vegetables back in, sprinkle with black pepper, and stir till everything is warmed and mixed together.
Serve over pasta, sprinkled with your favorite parmesan cheese. Add a glass of wine and salad to round out this wonderful, tummy-pleasing meal!! Mangia!