A poet named W.H. Auden once said, “And the years shall run like rabbits“. Watching my 2 furry house guests, I can just imagine how those years might run.
Yes, as you can tell by the picture, I am currently playing host to 2 rabbits, named Bright and Ginger. They were my wife’s pets before we got married and now, my sister-in-law (her sister) has inherited them. Due to an overly complicated situation which involved my sister-in-law heading out to China for a shoot (which never happened), we volunteered our rabbit-sitting services and bunny-napped the pair a week ago.
Now, I’ve known Ginger for about 3 years now and before I knew her, I was acquainted with her father, Rare-Bit, whom I also bunny-sat for about 2 weeks while his owner was saving the environment in Albania. As for Bright, I’ve known him for about 2 1/2 years, since the time we got him as a present / boyfriend for Ginger.
Ginger is a teh tarik-coloured bunny with a luscious shiny coat of fur, sharp nose and clean feet. She is athletic, wildly intelligent and highly curious. Having been fed off the milk of human kindness ever since she was a wee bunny, Ginger is a little bit of a princess and a prodigy at the same time. And she’s got the attitude to boot.
Bright, on the other hand, is truly a Mad Max of the rabbit world. According to the House Rabbit Society whom we got him from, he was found wandering around a carpark in Bedok Reservoir, his fur bleached from extended exposure to the sun and fending off random attacks from hostile grasshoppers gangs. He’s got a grubby coat of dark grey fur, a rounder nose and feet that won’t ever seem to clean up.
Both rabbits are toilet-trained (yes, they can be trained to poop and pee in a litter pan like cats and dogs) and are growing up on a diet of chopped vegetables, food pellets and rolled oats.
Observing Bright and Ginger for the last 3 years or so, I’ve come to notice that even in animals, there is evidence of human-like behaviour. One striking example is the fact that Bright always lowers his head as if to “ask” Ginger to groom him. In these moments, I swear, sometimes, Ginger has that look of “just because I groom you doesn’t mean I have to like it, you old coot” – but she grooms him anyway – just like an old married couple. Amazing.
The other thing I’ve observed about them is that Ginger has an innate sense of curiosity and always wants to leave the confines of the pen. Whenever we open it up, Ginger’s the first to dash out of there, eager to explore the big ‘ol wide world.
Bright, on the other hand, is more laid-back. He’s a rabbit after my own heart and he hangs back quite a bit, contented in the pen, chilling with his celery bites and oat bowl.
I’m not sure but I think it’s a case of that he’s seen how the world is – how the world can be – and he knows the good life when he sees it. In here, he doesn’t have to scrounge for food or avoid predators. In here, a grooming is just a bow away. It’s paradise. He probably looks at Ginger and her little “explorations” and thinks how she’s so naively wanting to get out – just because she doesn’t know what out is like.
As I sit here and watch the rabbits scamper over the kitchen floor, an old Eddie Murphy joke that I heard when I was 16 comes to mind in which a bear wipes his ass with a rabbit. I also think about countless rabbit foot jokes I’ve heard over the years, especially ones about how we can’t rely on them as lucky charms because they didn’t work out too well for the rabbit. And then I think about when I first got to know the little runts. And I think of the next ten minutes I’ll spend coaxing Bright and Ginger out of the dark corner between the wall and the back of the washing machine.
Auden was right – the years do, and will, run like rabbits.