I am very much in love with the wee bunnies that live just outside the back door of my workplace. Normally, there are piles of large, wild jackrabbits everywhere in this city, but these are not your run-of-the-mill rabbits of which I speak. These are cute-as-hell black, brown, grey, and white fuzzy bunnies. The women I work with leave them carrots and oatmeal and lettuce on our back steps, and the mother bunny is tame enough to have her nose pet by the right people. She has already had one litter, and now they think she's had a second. If we keep feeding them, we'll be overrun! And, if these are the right lab bunnies, even erectile dysfunction won't get in the way. Now, this whole situation sounds so cutsie it hurts, but really it is very, very serious. Have you wondered where these bunnies came from? I did, and I asked one of my superiors about it. She told me that some people freed the lab rabbits at the university, and I was appalled that people are still so stupid as to go ahead and do something so potentially dangerous. These rabbits could have some sort of bunny virus or disease that the natural rabbit population cannot contend with. All those dog-sized jackrabbits could die! Or the lab bunnies might have had their immune systems suppressed in order to study cancer or something, and now these bunnies are doomed to die from any one of the many biological dangers that nature holds for unfamiliar organisms. Or, and this is the most likely outcome, these lab bunnies, although possibly abused in the name of science, are not "free" now in that happy, unencumbered, blue-sky way that we think of, but they have been cast out into a completely unfamiliar environment that none of their five senses have ever before encountered, and although the ones living outside my job's back door are being fed and protected, all the other bunnies are probably out there starving, or will freeze to death when the season changes. It was such emotion-based, unthinking, irresponsible behaviour to set them "free". Can you imagine what it would be like if some giant beings suddenly decided to set us free and threw us into a forest by ourselves with no knowledge about our surroundings? I know I would likely die fairly quickly from eating the wrong kind of berry or falling out of the tree I fell asleep in in order to try to avoid other middle- to large-sized carnivores.
Not my lab rabbits.
As an aside, I am not a huge fan of rabbits in general. I have had friends with them as pets, and always found them unlikable. (No offense should be taken by any rabbit-lovers out there).
I had other things to write about, like the girl I've started talking to before the bus arrives that takes me to my new job in the morning who talks about how the whores outside her house won't bother you if you leave them alone and wonders why her friends don't like to come over, or the woman I work with that was telling me about the craziness of being one of twenty-three children and how even her psychic was shocked at the number, or that The Deadly Snakes are the coolest thing in my world right now. I am not going to write about those things. I am going to go for a beer and read The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, which I am thoroughly enjoying without shame.
* The gestation period of a rabbit is about 31 days, and sexual maturity arrives at about 12 weeks.
* A group of rabbits is called a herd.
* Rabbits are not rodents. They are lagomorphs. Other lagamorphs include hares and pikas.
* Cottontails may live to two years in the wild, but where predators are numerous, they seldom live more than one. 85% of the rabbit population dies each year. This includes at least one out of every three babies that are born per year.
* The spring hare's powerful legs enable it to leap up to 30 feet.
* And, if you are of the mind to eat them . . .