Got an early wake-up call of the wild this morning.
|You're nobody 'til somebody loves you.|
Now, I've been told that male woodpeckers pound out their jazzy rhythms in the early hours of the morning in order to attract a mate. Don't know it that's entirely true or not, but let's say that it is. And if it is, poor old Clem was sorrowfully unlucky in love.
Because he didn't just show up and rat-a-tat for fifteen minutes just before the sun came up. Oh, no. Clem was an industious and rather desperate suitor, and showed up several hours before daybreak, and rat-a-tatted his heart out for one or two hours every morning. On trees. On the gutters. On a fiberglass canoe. If it wasn't moving, our little visitor took a whack at it. If nothing else, he was persistent. But, alas, I don't think he ever found love. He eventually stopped coming around, but I fear the crumpled zig-zag beak he must have had held little appeal for the fairer sex.
Back to this morning. After the woodpecker finished his drum solo, the cats took over. If you have cats, I'm sure you're familiar with the routine. There's the piling-on game, the nose-rubbing and purring-in-your-ear game, the patty-cake game, and let us not forget the rousing round of king of the mountain, where you, of course, are the mountain. All designed, of course, to get their staff out of bed and into the kitchen.
I took all of this as an omen that it was time to write another blog about lessons I've learned from our pets. We've already talked a little bit about cats in the past, and about fish, but today, we're going to talk about rabbits.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter went fishing in Plains, Georgia. While out in his row boat, enjoying a peaceful respite from the White House, his serenity was shattered by a rabbit and a pack of dogs. The dogs were doing what dogs do. They were chasing the rabbit. But this rabbit didn't do what one would expect a rabbit to do. This rabbit jumped into the water, hissing and gnashing its teeth, and swam towards the president's boat. Though the president said he didn't have any experience with out-of-control animals, he successfully shooed it away by splashing water at it with a paddle. As you can imagine, if you don't already remember the incident, the media had a field day. "President Attacked by Killer Rabbit" was a common headline around the country. Late night comics took the story and ran with it, and poor President Carter became a laughing stock. If you do a google search now, you can actually find pictures of the rabbit, and of President Carter shooing it away from his boat, but they weren't made available at the time. But I, for one, didn't need to see any pictures to believe the president's story, because I'm pretty sure we ended up with the spawn of that killer rabbit.
My daughter had a pet rabbit. It was a precious little bit of fur with a tiny pink nose when we first brought it home, but here are some of the lessons we learned from owning that rabbit:
- Precious little bits of fur with tiny pink noses grow up to be big fat rabbits. With sharp claws.
- All big fat rabbits do is eat and generate a big fat ton of hoodles.
- Little girls don't like to clean up hoodles.
- I don't like to clean them up, either.
- Rabbits don't like you to put halters and leashes on them.
- Rabbits have very sharp claws.
- Once the halter and leash are attached, rabbits are lousy at taking walks. They hop. Very leisurely. Because they have to eat every green thing in sight. And, of course, drop hoodles.
- Rabbits don't like you to take halters and leashes off of them.
- Did I mention they have very sharp claws?
- If he ever hopped away from home, (no such luck!) we would have been able to find him quite easily. Hansel and Gretel had nothing on him. He could leave a steady two-mile trail of turds.
- Here's the funny part. The mountain of rabbit poop that critter generated was useless as fertilizer.
I don't remember what our daughter called that rabbit. Something cutesie like Fluffy. But after a few weeks of shoveling his poop, I started calling him Hoodles, and that stuck. Oh, and on second thought, maybe he wasn't related to President Carter's rabbit, after all. When we tossed him into the lake, he didn't swim.
Just kidding. We ended up donating him to the Yellow River Game Ranch, where he lived out the rest of his life with a bunch of other rabbits, eating, generating hoodles, and ... um... multiplying.
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other. Oh, and I know some people have rabbits that make wonderful pets. My sister-in-law had one. Ours, however, wasn't the cuddly type. And I might have mentioned? He had very sharp claws.
No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.