It’s Christmas time, which means less about the miracle of a Virgin Birth and more about conceding to the every whim of your spoilt children. Mine are currently banging on about a rabbit. Just what I need, I’ll finally get my lovely new kitchen and they’ll be some bastard rabbit hopping round, chewing cables and excreting on my new (expensive) tiles.
The small child has always loved bunnies. Asked what her favourite animal is and she responds: I like bunnies, And MORE bunnies, and then REAL bunnies. It seems churlish to refuse her one, but we all know who’ll be de-lousing it and and raking up pee-soused sawdust.
Last year I wobbled briefly on my stance and popped into Pets at Home on Boucher. It was a child’s birthday and I thought I’d make enquiries about a lop-eared bun as a gift. I swear one could probably foster a child refugee with less rigmarole. I left the premises convinced I lacked the necessary wherewithal to care for a rabbit. Apparently, they are so dim that if they live in a hutch you MUST seal off the access to the run when it gets cold, otherwise they just sit outside and freeze to death. Who knew? There were numerous other considerations, and really one wondered, was it worth the effort?
I met a nice rabbit on my travels once, while living on the French island of Réunion. I used to teach English to a family who owned a giant bun, who rejoiced in the name of Jean-Baptiste. He lolloped about the garden and in the heat of midday would seek sanctuary under the sofa indoors. It seemed to enjoy the television, when it wasn’t asleep. A sanguine and docile creature, he almost made rabbit ownership look doable. He was their second rabbit, their first was lovely too apparently. He was called Jean-Jacques. What happened to him? I asked politely. The child replied with a typical Gallic shrug. “Il est mort et on l’a mangé” (he died and we ate him). I could just imagine them, raising a toast to auld Thumper, before tucking in to him à la moutarde. The French, you gotta love ‘em.
I digress. I think the only bunny Santa will be bringing is the kitch lamp featured above. And that’s only if I sell I kidney to fork out the £55.