“Two,” the man snarled. “Two. Two…”
What did he mean – two? What. Two arms? Two legs?
“Two,” he said again, raising his voice to a shout. Was he using the word as a shortened form of towards, as a way of giving me directions? “Two,” he said again, his voice rising with mania.
I realised, of course. I realised only too well. The man’s diction was flawed and lazy. Alcohol-induced, no doubt. The word was not “two” but “shoo”. He was ordering me to leave, not gently and with meandering hops as I might have preferred, but immediately with haste and fear for my life.
He had cornered me in his garden under the parasol-shelter of a rhubarb leaf. Beneath my feet was a spongy surface of rotted cow manure combined with straw. I smelled my thumper foot disapprovingly. No doubt the manure would make for a delicious crop, but rhubarb wasn’t my thing. Neither was cow manure.
You humans believe that root vegetables are my thing. Bugs Bunny implied so, standing coolly on his very human back legs, munching a clean, washed, shiny orange carrot. But they do very little for me.
I’ve seen popular mythology about my species. I know we’re universally known as Oryctolagus cuniculus and I also know how you humans feel about us. We’re mischievous, troublesome, rodents. We spread disease like myxomatosis, and apparently spread fleas, though I’ve never experienced more than a passing itch myself.
I know you think we’re always having sex, and this makes you madly jealous. To be fair, to me sex is rarely a consideration. Just a few seconds here, a few seconds there. Most of the time I don’t think of it. I have better things to do. I think of only one thing.
I think of food. Tangy, juicy food. Not carrots (though they fill a hole in a pinch) and definitely not these sour sticks of rhubarb, but the green glories of asparagus, celery, spinach and kale: all of which grow here, in the garden of the scruffy old man with a gun.
But you know what I like better than juicy, delicious vegetables? Vengeance.
The quivering, shivering form of a man with a gun: he’s excited. He’s ready to shoot: ready to take me home for his pot, just as he has taken home many of my family members before me. But it isn’t going to happen. I’ve been sharpening my teeth and sharpening my vegan attack skills. Vengeance is mine, says this bunny as he pounces.