Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Day of the Lepus

Here I am trying to be all cool and cutting-edge, and suddenly, THIS!

I can avoid the topic no longer. Way back in about February, my old friend Jo asked me if I would look after their rabbits in August while they went on holiday to Cornwall.

"Oh, yes, no problem," I said cheerily. "Did you say rabbits? Are there more than one?"

They cunningly delivered the rabbits just before we got back from Tenby, presumingly using a couple of HGVs to do so.

Six rabbits, all female. Three hutches. More carrots and hay and wood shavings than have ever been seen outside Windsor Safari Park. Several pages of instructions. And a well-made wire run on the lawn.

Well, I thought, I'll put a couple of them out in the run, and then swap them later on.

And that's what I've been doing for the past fortnight, as well as everything else. Rotating rabbits. The rabbits have been mowing the lawn in squares where I keep moving the run.

But it has reminded me of a long-forgotten skill which I possess: Rabbit-Wrangling.

"How do you pick them up?" asked Emily, noting that the rabbits above - called Bovril and Blackie, since you're so insistent upon knowing - are each the size of, say, a Fiat Uno.
"How do you keep them still?"

Well, when I was a child, many a rabbit and guinea-pig came under my tender care. Many a dog, cat, frog, mouse, hamster, gerbil, goldfish, crow, newt, toad, tortoise, terrapin too, I have to confess.

And the rabbits sense this. They know that I know. They sense my experience. They know there's no point in wriggling, or kicking, or biting. They just keep still and wait for the carrots.

I am considering adding Rabbit-Wrangling to my cv.

Night of the Lepus, by the way, was a 1972 film about giant rabbits terrorising America. It is the only horror film that has never frightened me. That's the other thing about rabbits: they're just not good at being scary.


Blogger Silverback said...

Oh I donno about that, Daphne. Some of those rabbits in Watership Down were quite scary.

What do you mean they weren't real ??!!

And if you've ever had a leaf burn from a hostile rabbit, then you'd change your mind too.

I'm off to play my Chas & Dave record now..........


6:28 pm  

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