A Genet killed the ‘Easter Bunny’…
I had such a brilliant idea for an Easter Bunny story for Alex and Jack. We have a Scrub Hare that we see in our yard very often. I even caught him on the trail camera up on our front gate a couple of times. I pointed the Scrub Hare out to the boys when we were braaiing marshmallows a few nights ago. He was sitting quietly at the base of our Apple-leaf tree just outside the direct light of the flames.
My plan was to tell the boys that the ‘haassie’ we saw the other night, was actually the Easter Bunny and that he left a bunch of marshmallow eggs all over the garden. That was going to be the start of our Easter Egg hunt! Well, sometimes things in the bush don’t go exactly as planned. Yesterday morning we were looking for animal’s tracks around the garden again when Alex stumbled upon some white and grey fluff. “Wat is hierdie, papa? – what is this, dad”? He asked his father. “That looks like the tail of a scrub hare, Bossie” Steven answered, calling Alex by his pet name.
And as he said the word Scrub hare, he looked at me and said: “Nooooooooooo!” Obviously, my husband was very much aware of my Scrub hare- Easter Bunny story plan. “What do you think happened to it, babe?” I asked Steven as we moved on to another part of the garden. The only thing Steven could think of is that a Genet had killed the poor Scrub hare and taken it up into the Green Monkey Orange tree at the base of which we found the remnants of the ‘Easter Bunny’s’ tail. Try and explain that to a three and a five-year-old… I did not have the heart to tell the boys that a Genet had killed the Easter Bunny, so our Easter egg hunt was deemed to be an ordinary one.
Or so we thought!!!
While Jack was searching for Easter eggs by the garage, Alex came running towards us from the Monkey Orange! “Papa, kom! Slang!! – Come, daddy, there is a snake!” Now when our child yells something like that, we immediately jump up to investigate. There is no way of knowing if the snake in question is harmless, or indeed one of the venomous snakes we get in our garden from time to time.
We have had a Black mamba in the garden and quite a few Pofadders. So with snakes, we do not take chances. Ever. Steven quickly rushed to where Alex was pointing and I was on my way inside to get the snake thongs I got from the African Snakebite Institute. “It is the Skaapsteker again, babe!” Steven called from the Monkey Orange; referring to the Skaapsteker that had almost landed on my head last week. It was very possibly the same one. It had caught a striped skink!
With the skink in its mouth, the snake moved towards the shade underneath the Pride of the Cape at the fence. There, it re-adjusted its grip on the skink a bit and disappeared from view deep into the scrubs.
Luckily, I had not hidden any Easter eggs close to where the snake disappeared! “Gaan hy die eiers eet, mama? – Is he going to eat the Easter eggs, mama?” Alex asked me looking worried. I love how a child’s brain works! And I am so proud of Alex, calling us when he saw the Skaapsteker!! Our Bush Lessons are paying off. He is getting so big. Well done, Alex! You get an extra marshmallow egg from me.
I somehow get a feeling this might not be the last time the Skaapsteker is going to give us a bit of a fright…
Happy Easter Everyone!