Saturday, April 26, 2008

For some time now, we’ve been waiting to put our bunny to the buck again. A month ago, we took her next door to an elderly neighbour, Solange, whose previous buck (since gone for the pot, bless him) sired our first litter. She wouldn’t exactly say “no” but she wasn’t sure that it would work, as she’d put one of her own bunnies to him the day before. I had to smile at the thought of the shagged out bunny gigolo putting his paw up and saying, “enough already”. I had my suspicions that he would indeed be more than ready. However, no sooner had I dropped bunny off than Solange’s normally reclusive and taciturn daughter, Christine, was vigorously signalling for me to come over. She’d seen that our bunny had a problem.

Thanks to Christine’s alertness, we found out that our bunny had a blocked and crusty ear. The following day, we went straight down to our Tunisian vet, the calm and kind Dr Mouhli, who pronounced that she had “la gale” (mange), caused by tiny mites. With bunny held in place by me and the veterinary nurse, he applied some disinfectant and swabbed out the worst of it, giving me some medicine to apply each day for a week. It’s a problem that’s easily remedied but I had a worry regarding Solange’s rabbits. When I vaccinated our own rabbits against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease, I offered to vaccinate Solange’s too. I had spare doses and it would also benefit us if the surrounding domestic rabbits were protected but she declined. If her rabbits now fell ill, perhaps even to myxi, I was concerned that the finger would be pointed at our scabby-eared bunny. Happily, that didn’t come to pass, although I felt less inclined to ask again if we could use her male. So we turned to the venerable Annick.

With her usual open-smiley-ness, she ushered me and bunny through her labyrinthine garden to a row of Concrete Clapiers (rabbit hutches—biligiual alliteration, respect please!) where I (we?) were given the choice of two bucks: a large albino with shifty pink eyes or a smaller-but-cuter dark brown one. I went for colour over size and in bunny went. In the time it took Annick to close the front grille, with it’s broken catch, and start to explain how she kept it securely closed with a log of wood, Monsieur had “served” bunny twice: no advocate of Tantric Sex then, unlike the popstar Sting. When we came to pick her up an hour or so later, our 75+ year-old neighbour was full of jokes about how many rabbits were we collecting and how our rabbit must be heavier now! And she reminded us that, all being well, we’ll have a new family of baby rabbits in exactly a month’s time. Click here to read about rabbits as a highly nutritious, low fat, low-cholesterol meat rich in proteins and certain minerals and vitamins.