Peter, he is the cottontail that takes refuge in our backyard, and I had a discussion the other day.
Mind you, he's not much of a talker. Buddy boy is a good listener, though.
I went to hang some laundry on the line, went toodling around the corner and found that I scared Peter nearly to his bunny death. He jumped about 3 feet away from me, sat there and looked. He didn't move. Cottontail was not up. I bent down and said, "Now Peter, I need to hang laundry. You are where I need to be. I'm not going to hurt you. You know me and it's all good. If you could just move over there :gesturing where to go: that would be great."
All be darned if the rabbit didn't listen. He hopped over, as any bunny rabbit gentleman minus the red, white and blue striped rheumatism crutch would, and hung out there to watch. He moved on a handful of feet more to hang out under the swings. Then, he decided that his appetite got the better of him and he decided to graze on the clover in the middle of the yard. I would move, but he wouldn't stir. He knew I meant him no harm.
When I was done, I went into the house, peeked out the back window to see if Peter was still up to his nose in clover buffet when he looked up, saw that I was in the house and promptly hopped back to the original spot that I scared him out of. What was the funniest thing was that not only did he go back to his original spot, but he decided to sack out and just hang out there for a while. His leggins were all at rest as he lounged in the shade of the swingset tower. He was camped out there for a while until the evil black and white cat from next door tried to make him a kitty vittle. Peter ran for his life, seeking shelter in the thick lilies. I opened the windows, clapped my hands and yelled for the cat to go home. Then, I texted Hubs that Peter was almost lunch and QUICK! we need hardware cloth to cover the neighbor's fence holes. (The new fence goes up a hill and the neighbor kept the sections whole, so there are triangular open sections under each fence panel where critters can get in.)
We were talking about Peter last night. Hubs has seen him. He seems to have temporarily moved operations to the front yard. He had lived there once before. Perhaps, in time, our cottontail will feel safe enough to lounge in the backyard once again. Until then, I'll keep my eyes out, I'll crouch down and continue to talk to him gently. I'd like to think that he misses our discussions.