Last weekend we discovered that a rabbit had seven babies in a corner of the backyard. Poor choice of location, as we house predators (dog and cat) that roam the backyard along with other neighborhood predators, including a great horned owl. The cat got one baby before we figured it out.
Since then the children have mobilized to keep the cat inside, recover her when she sneaks out, and leave offerings of food for the mother. We are now down to three babies due to the other neighborhood predators. It has been a good lesson in nature – not every baby makes it, not every mother can defend her young, inexperienced mothers have to live with the consequences of poor choices such as a predator’s backyard, and part of survival/success is a numbers game (in this case, having enough young that a few make it to adulthood).
But the most important lesson has been that, although you can’t fix the world, you can make it just a little better through love in action. Thanks to the children’s efforts the three remaining babies have made it to the point that their eyes are open and they are starting to hop around near the nest. A few more days’ vigilance and they will be ready to leave for the open fields. Without the children’s work, none of them would have made it. As the rest of the world has dealt with Boston bombings, ricin-laced letters, and fertilizer explosions, our children have spent the week focused on making things just a little better in their own backyard. I hope this helps them as they grow and expand their vision from helping in their backyard to helping in their community, nation and world.