I don’t know what is going on right now, but there seem to be an awful lot of kamikazi bunnies out on the road lately. Usually, I might see one or two as I drive in to work in the morning. One morning, as I was driving in early, I came upon three bunnies lined up in the road facing me. It was one of those moments when I wished I was carrying a camera along with me. Except that I know that by the time the thought molecules actually hit my brain and my brain activated to send a message down to my hand to “pick up the camera,” either the bunnies would be long gone, or I would have run them down.
So there we were, just me and the bunnies in a bizarre Mexican standoff reminiscent of some cheesy horror flick. They were probably just having a little bunny confab out there in the middle of the road when I came driving along and they turned to see what the all the noise was. I prefer the horror movie version, though. You hear the haunting Ennio Morricone score in the background as the bunnies stare, their lucky little feet hovering over imaginary little holsters, the jingling of tiny spurs in the background. The camera pans and then it zooms to show only my eyes—wide, afraid, darting back and forth between the bunnies. Then the camera pans back to show the center bunny. It zooms in to show just his eyes. He wiggles his cute little nose and the spell breaks. The movie ends. They run away.
Lately, I see half a dozen, even a dozen each morning. They dash along the side of the road seeking a way to escape me, but perversely choose to stay on the road rather than flee into the sagebrush. Usually, they “try to escape” by running in front of the car. It is the running of the bunnies—far safer than bulls at any rate. This morning I counted 9, although only one of them foolishly tried to get me to run over it. I really do try to avoid them. One time late at night on a trip home from Vegas, I hit one coming over Anchorite Pass out of Hawthorne. I can still hear the sickening crunch it made—ick! It happened so fast that there was no way I could have avoided it, but still—ick! I don’t want to repeat that so I drive slow and try to avoid them.
Is it because it is fall? It doesn’t really make sense because they don’t hibernate. Is there a shortage of food this late in the year? But there is certainly no food on the road to attract them. It’s not mating season… I mean I could see the males showing off for the females…”check this out babe!” (It would certainly narrow the gene pool to those that are the fastest and/or least foolish.) But it’s the wrong time of year for that. Is the road surface warmer? Maybe running alongside a car warms their little tootsies. Maybe it’s just National Bunny Deathwish Month. Silly rabbits!