This is my vegetable garden.
It's not particularly big. It's not particularly grand. But it is the equivalent of a backyard Leavenworth Maximum Security Prison.
Two- at certain places three- layers of fencing that is buried several inches underground. Four feet high. All I need is some razor wire along the top.
The reason for all these vegetable-protecting security measures are those evil little vermin that scurry around our backyard, eating my flowers and vegetables, pooping all over the pristine snow in the winter.
Since moving to Iowa, the Eastern Cottontail Rabbit has become my top adversary. My first summer here, they ate my sunflowers, my pumpkins, and my beloved black-seeded lettuce. I began staring out the back windows, muttering about those pagan rabbits and twitching every time I saw movement in the grass. I solicited advice from family and friends- they recommended getting a dog, getting a gun, and setting out cat food with crushed ibuprofin mixed in to poison them.
I started to think I may not have the most compassionate family and friends. I am okay with that.
As I wasn't exactly subtle about my dislike of these backyard invaders, it didn't take long for Adelaide to catch on to my distaste. I thought nothing of it until we saw a crushed rabbit on the street in front of our house, and rather than saying "Awww," or "Poor little rabbit," as I might expect a little girl her age to do, she did a fist pump and yelled, "Yesssss!" at the sight of the flattened gore.
I tried to explain to her that I don't hate rabbits, and although I don't like having them in their yard, I don't mind rabbits in general. She didn't seem to believe me, and now I'm starting to worry I've warped her little five-year-old brain. As a result I've been spending an inordinate amount of time catching toads, earthworms, and other small animals, letting her and Atticus touch them and hold them, and talking about how God loves all his creatures.
As a result, she now likes toads, frogs, earthworms, roly polies, and caterpillars- but still encourages neighborhood cats to slip through our back fence and "eat all the baby rabbits you want!"
I would feel bad, but... I really don't like those rabbits.