Well, on Tuesday, Snowflake got the bunny equivalent of a screened porch. This seems to have been enough to convince her to come on out.
Indeed, Snowflake was so enthusiastic about having free access to grass and dandelions (along with sun and breezes), that the very same day she also decided she was brave enough to hop out the open door of the bunny run into the wide expanses of the yard.
At first she would just hop out, get a pat from me, and hop back into the run. But then, apparently, she was ready to explore the whole yard — the lemon balm patch under the apple tree, the bark path toward the apricot tree, the nasturtium patch by the side of the house, the well-shaded patch of lawn under the hutch. (She has not yet found the vegetable garden. I aim to keep it that way.)
This hopping around was a lot of fun. But then I had to get sprogs to soccer practice, and Notorious B.U.N. was not amenable to being put back into the run, safety issues be damned.
Her view, apparently, is that as an almost-grown-up rabbit, she is responsible enough to be out in the yard wherever and whenever she wants to be. I am allowed to keep filling the water bottles and the food dispenser, and to giver her pats when she wants them, but I shouldn’t be imposing a curfew or anything.
My view, of course, is that no amount of instinct and intelligence is going to help a snow-white bunny to camouflage into our yard. And, I have no intention of providing an easy meal for the neighborhood predators (of which there are many).
So I ended up scooping her up and plopping her back in the run. She did manage to convey her displeasure at this by scratching my forearms pretty well.
I am, as always, the mean mommy.