The longer we keep a rabbit in the house, the longer I think it belongs out of the house. Not to live out there — it is a pet, little miss I will be petted oh yes I will — but for a stretch of outside time every day. I’ve been carrying the cage outside, removing the bottom, and sitting her in a sunny patch of grass for a few hours, and she always comes back in feeling better. She likes the sun on her face and the wind in her fur.
But the cage is too small. Of late I’ve been scanning Craigslist for a secondhand puppy exercise pen, one of those things that comes in panels and is about knee-high. There are several places in the yard we could set it up, and put ol’ Ruby out there for a daily sniff ‘n’ hop.
Then I look at the picture on the wall, an octavo print of Audubon’s Red-Tailed Hawk, two of them fighting for the rabbit in one’s talons. In some prints, the rabbit is having its final bowel movement; Kate called it “the rabbit pooping” when she was a toddler. I’m wondering what the chances are of looking out the kitchen window some fine spring day to see Ruby flying away to be a raptor’s lunch. That would be a bummer, but also sort of interesting, in the there’s-something-you-don’t-see-every-day sense of the word.
A friend was walking his dog on the ice in the U.P. one fine winter day, and looked up to see a bald eagle studying the two of them. Eagles eat fish mostly, but if one can carry off a 20-pound salmon, you wouldn’t think a cairn terrier would give one that much trouble.
Of course, the world is a dangerous place for animals of all sorts, even those living in the protection of a nice zoo somewhere. The deer at the National Zoo jumped into the lions’ enclosure, and whether or not it immediately said uh-oh, I think we took the wrong exit is lost to the ages. If nothing else, it put on something of a show for the spectators:
It’s not as bad as you fear. There’s something awesome about predators in action. The fact the deer died and the lion didn’t get her meal is sad. One of the very few zoo stories that belonged on Page One but didn’t get there happened when i was in Columbus, and two workers stayed late, had a few drinks and pitched a troublesome, butt-nipping goose into the jaguars’ enclosure. Nowadays, they’d shoot a cell-phone video. At least you’d hope so.
Guys, I promised a friend I’d take his Wayne State class this morning, and I have to get out of here. For bloggage and discussion, I suggest we take on the “Mad Men” finale, which I stayed up late to watch and which I will bet you Joan’s gold pen necklace you’ll find so, so, soooo good. And this from the comments of the last thread: The auction for the old midcentury modern furnishings at Connie’s library, complete with a note from herself. I’ll be going at top speed until 1 a.m. tomorrow, so that’s it for me. Happy Monday.