Once upon a time I had a beautiful dream. I dreamed of white rabbits … fluffy, cuddly ones with pink eyes. There is an old saying that ‘Friday night’s dream, Saturday told, is bound to come true be it ever so old.’ Well, I didn’t have long to wait ‘cause the dream was on a Friday and I blabbed the next day.
Having already explained the dream to young son over breakfast, we got ready to go out shopping. We had finished the essential part of the expedition and were walking to the bus back home when I suddenly stopped and looked in amazement at the local pet shop. There in the window, frolicking for all the world to see, were two white rabbits with pink eyes. Unbelievable! This, I thought, was definitely an omen. Since the sighting had broken the dream there was nothing for it but to go into the shop and buy a rabbit. Yeah, right!
I never realised I was gullible until that day. Two young rabbits, a hutch and food were purchased when the shopkeeper said they were the last and ‘it would be a shame to part them’. Yeah, right!
Only later did I find out that it’s very difficult to tell a buck from a doe when they’re young.
But gullibility aside, Jon and I began to enjoy our rabbits. I bought books and did a study and discovered that buck and does should be separated before they were old enough to breed. Well that was okay since they were only young rabbits!
I used to like a lie in on a Sunday as that was a no-work day but not long after we’d purchased the little dears I was rudely awakened by young son crying because one of the rabbits was covered in blood. You’ve guessed it, Mommy rabbit had given birth. Heaven help her, she was only a nipper herself!
Remembering the bit in the book about the buck being a cannibal at heart and the added advice to get him away from the doe before he could start eating his youngsters, and definitely get him away from the doe so that further sexual activity could be avoided, I shot out of bed, raced outside, opened the hutch and grabbed the buck by the ears. We shut him in the outside shed and, yeah, you guessed it, we popped out to buy another hutch. But that wasn’t until I’d seen the babies. Aaaaah so cute.
So peace reigned once again in Valerie’s household, that is until I was roused by young son to tell me that Mom had given birth again. Seemed I had not been fast enough getting the male rabbit out of the hutch. He must have performed even as she gave birth. And I always thought jokes about breeding rabbits was an exaggeration. Yeah, right!
Then there was the day the buck escaped from his hutch. I’d only gone there to refresh his food and the minute the door opened he was off after his Missus who was conveniently eating grass on the lawn. It was a long time before I caught him and even then I wasn’t sure if I’d captured the buck or the doe … if only I’d had the foresight to put an identifying collar on the wretched sex-mad animal.
This was, of course, a long time ago and I can’t remember how many young we had altogether, but believe me there were A LOT.
Naturally I had to find homes for the babies … couldn’t possibly keep them all. So I put a notice on the staff notice board at work. X number of Baby Rabbits for Sale, good homes wanted, or words to that effect. Say the number was 12, within the hour someone had multiplied it to 24, and then another bright spark changed the figure to 48 … and so on. It was the joke of the office. Some wise guys offered sexual advice for rabbits and one recommended consulting the Brook Street Bureau. You can imagine, can’t you, the bawdy tones used by the male employees? Ladies were a bit more circumspect but even they bordered on the unthinkable! One thing I will say, though, the entire episode lifted the spirits of the ordinary working man … and woman.
I did sell the baby rabbits; For what seemed like an age I was transporting the damn things all over town but believe me my strength was waning along with my love of rabbits. In the end I was obliged – out of desperation - to sell the randy buck, hutch and all, and was left with just Mommy rabbit who eventually died of old age.
So if ever you dream about rabbits on a Friday night I beg you either to keep the dream to yourself or ensure you stay away from pet shops the following day; as the saying goes ‘Friday night’s dream, Saturday told, is sure to come true be it ever so old.’