A few years ago, our next door neighbors planted a lot of tulips – more than they expected to bloom. They said some wouldn’t make it to the spring. They pointed to the deer and the bunnies that run wild through our two yards.

We didn’t plant any tulips.

But I think the bunnies and the deer and who knows what other animals somehow decided to distribute the tulips throughout our two yards. Our neighbors’ yard has a spectacular display of tulips every spring. But thanks to the small wild animals, our own beds of later-blooming flowers get a little pop of tulip color, too.

Because we didn’t plant them, I forget about them. And so I’m always surprised by the tiny beds of tulips when they emerge around our yard. And later in the summer when the deer and rabbits are eating the hostas and the leafy greens, I remember that they offered us their very own kinds of advance payment in tulips, in their very own ways.