Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Run, rabbit

Rabbits are universally accepted as cute, adorable little creatures that no-one in their right mind could object to, right?

Everybody loves a bunny, don’t they?

Except for me.

I really cannot see the appeal of what are considered in rural areas of Australia as a serious pest.

My rabbit repulsion dates back to my childhood when a neighbours’ bunny bit me after I caught him in the flower bed after one of his many escape attempts, leading me to the local ‘cottage hospital’ (remember them? I guess I’m showing my age) for one of my many tetanus jabs.

I’m willing to bet I’m the only person you know that has been traumatised by a bunny!

And if that was not enough, we then went and got one!

Actually, I got a guinea pig (a cute black-and-tan number that I baptised “Pickles”) but my little sister got a mean-spirited, grunting albino bunny called (predictably) “Snowy”. They set up home together in a hutch and everything seemed to be fine…

….until we realised that I was allergic to rabbits. I just had to approach their cage and I would start sneezing, my eyes would stream and my skin puff up. And if I actually touched the flaming pink-eyed monstrosity, my eyes would quickly puff up and close.

Trouble is, we had promised that we would look after them.

And I was the eldest – well, say no more....

Feeding them was fine, I could get off fairly unscathed and little sis actually helped out with that. But what about the weekly cleaning out of the hutch?

Rabbits can produce a surprisingly prodigious amount of pooh, and not all in pellet form either. Add to that the fact that, within the space of two months, “little Snowy” had grown into a huge albino monster that snorted loudly every time the back door opened in the hope of more food.

But it had to be done. So every Saturday afternoon found me manhandling a struggling 10 kilo bunny with malevolent pink eyes and surprisingly sharp claws into his pen on the lawn so I could clean out his mess, all the time struggling to see through a veil of allergy-induced tears.

…until that fateful winter morning when I approached the hutch for their morning feed, and found Pickles gone! Not exactly gone, rather smothered under the considerable bulk of his bunny room-mate. Bloody Snowy had killed Pickles! Needless to say, from that day forward, I have never cleaned another rabbit hutch. And very soon, Snowy was shipped off to join my Uncle’s menagerie.

My lack of enthusiasm for rabbits also extends to the Easter Bunny, which I just don’t get. I just can’t see the connection to be honest. What is the point of the Easter Bunny? Is it just a pagan fertility thing, given their reputation as prolific breeders? Who knows?

I can handle Bugs Bunny – after all, he’s more human than most of us. But I am afraid that for the rest of his kind, I am more likely to reach for the bunny boiler like Glenn Close in ‘Fatal Attraction’ than I am to pet them.

Easter in my house is celebrated without the likes of Snowy et al, thank you very much. Just give me a collection of cute little ducks, chicks and basketful of painted eggs and I’m happy…

…and don’t forget the chocolate!

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