Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Four Rabbits and Play

These are gifts sold in supermarkets for Easter, but they give me the opportunity to make a point. These are the only rabbits one should buy as presents. Rabbits are routinely given to children at Easter and this often ends in tears. When children find them difficult (and expensive) to look after they grow tired of the necessary dedication. So domestic rabbits are often abandoned. They are the third most popular pet and without a doubt, the most abused. Yet rabbits are rewarding creatures. Although they generally don't like being picked up, they are quite social and lots of fun to watch - because rabbits are naturally happy creatures and jump into the air with joy. This is called a binky and it's quite a gymnastic feat. Rabbits like company and prefer to have a mate. They need a lot of space, not a cramped hutch. And although they like carrots, hay is best for a rabbit diet. Rabbits, like their hare cousins, are of the lagomorph species. They are all gentle creatures, but it's wise not to torment them. They do fight and there was a famous incident when an enraged swamp rabbit attacked President Carter's fishing boat and tried to board. Symbolically, rabbits are of the moon and they come out to play at night. Once, we were heading for a very early ferry near Ayr in Scotland. Suddenly we noticed hundreds of rabbits, maybe thousands, running in the fields alongside the car. They were pacing us and I hear it's not uncommon. Rabbits like to play and we should all take a leaf out of their book.