Training Rabbits – January 15, 2021

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Have to hurry up.  Get this drafted so I can set it aside.  A trip to the feed store is necessary.  If they don’t have what I need, I guess I’ll stop by the grocery to pick up as many heads of lettuce as the produce manager will allow.  Everyone jittery about the need to COVID-hoard, don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea.

After two years, the kangaroos I purchased arrived. Took this long for paperwork, quarantines, and such to unwind so Fed Ex could deliver.  You didn’t know they could do that did you?1

I have a plan.  A maniacal laugh goes here, but I’m at a loss to spell it.  Training these two darlings to recognize rabbits2 as their enemies, competition for the lettuce and other munchies I’ve been feeding them, has been in progress for the last three weeks.  It’s my hope we’re ready to go by spring.

Don’t think me evil.  My new pets aren’t expected to exterminate the local rabbit population.  I’ll leave that to them.  I’d be content if Joe and Matilda just scare resident rabbits into moving back to the open fields, well-away from the subdivision and my yard.  How those rabbits vote in the next presidential election is up to them.

Been training with pictures and an old specimen from a taxidermist buddy.  Pretty certain now, my mob of western greys will think rabbits are wallabies, poachers on their turf, and kick their little cotton tails down the road.  Or, like I said, across the street.

So as far as the neighbors are concerned, Joe and Matilda are just oversized rabbits.  Already scared the hell out of the Red Tail Hawk that lives in the woods across the street. 

We don’t get stray dogs often. That’s not an issue. However, one joyfully unexpected benefit has been that local doggies, dragging their owners on leashes and considering my side yard their toilet are intimidated by my new pets.  One Doberman, poised to make a deposit last Thursday took off, if you’ll pardon the phrase, like a scalded dog, mid-poop, when it saw Joey coming to investigate.  Dobie’s owner’s feet didn’t touch ground until Dobie got home.  Everybody learning lessons here.

Wordplay follow-up

You may remember… “What single word might in a bit of wordplay be interpreted as an undressed formic quartet?”

I promised I’d deliver the answer.  Today, I decided not to.  Seems no one is interested.  Probably no one noticed. Or it was too easy, and everyone got it right away. Either case, I risk boring folks again, so I’m not gonna provide the answer.  That makes me a liar – you pick, a Repullican or Dimocrat – entirely up to you but since I’m ready to…

“Hey.  You the fella wrote that ‘Today’s Special’ blog?”

“I am.  You looking to complain of sexism, ageism, or insensitivity?”

“Nah.  I want the answer.”

“Which one of life’s mysteries you want the answer for?”

“That ‘what’s the word’ thing.”

“Nobody cares.”

“You mean nobody nailed it?”

“None of the British wordsmiths were interested.”


“You know, England.”

“What, you think me some kind of ignoramus?”

“Oh, heavens no!”

“None of them interested?”


“They read your stuff?”

“When they’re bored. Or as penance, I’m not sure which.”

“You gonna tell them anyway?”

“Might. Not sure.”

“Well can you tell me? Now?”

“You can’t wait until the next post?”


“You have a guess?”

“Nah. What’s the word?”

“It’s in the post.”

“Saw that.  Couldn’t find that either.”

“It’s there.”

“Just tell me.”

“How about you figure it out?”

“Just want the answer.”

“You can do this.”

“This be quick?”

“Sure.  Mind if I write this down?”


“This conversation.”


“Explain it to both of my followers.”

“Be okay, I guess.”

“Let’s do it one word at a time.”


“What’s a word for ‘undressed’?”


“No. Undressed.”


“No. Undressed.”


“Right. Formic?”


“Yes. Formic.”

“Some kinda acid?”

“Yes, but no. Formic.”

“Hmm.  Ants?”

“Right. Quartet?”


“No. Quartet.”

“Four Tops.”

“No. One word. Quartet.”


“Right.  Bare Ants Four. What’s that?”

“No clue.”

“Try, ants. Four. Bare.”


“Four Bare Ants?”

“Four bare ants?”



“No. Say Four, bare, ants. Quickly.”




“Yup. That’s it.”

“That’s stupid.”

“Didn’t say it made sense.  It’s a game.”

Back to work

My visitor left.  Disappointed, I think.  That dispensed with, I went back to work.  Strategizing.  Good thing.  I’ve determined it’s in the best interests of all concerned that I stick to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday post schedule.  I mean, I’m all out of doggie pics.  Looked through my photo archives and see where I don’t have any pictures of kitties doing tricks or looking kitty-cute.  Don’t hammer me because I posted the “rabbit” carny pose.  That’s legit.

I mean I might have to start writing stuff of substance.  Probably should get back to the commercial stuff anyway.  Looked into the beaten-to-death “Working” folder and thought it’s time to…


“You, again!  What do you want now?”

“I looked for that “vision” piece.”

“Did you like it?”

“Couldn’t find it?”

“Off the home page.  In ‘Writing.’  Under ‘Flash Fiction.’”

“You needa put a link to it in your post.”


“Why not?  Make it easy.”

“Figure if you’re interested, you’ll find it.”


“Not quantum physics. Navigate.”

“Too much trouble.”

“Easy as youboob and facepages.”

“That’s work.  Make it easy.”

“Not gonna.”

Good thing he left.  He’d have stayed, and I continued transcribing our exchange, I’d have to dig up the “NSFW” logo.

If he looks for that piece and he finds it, he won’t like it.  It’s flash, but long flash, almost one thousand words.  Doesn’t look so bad spelled-out. Write it as ‘1000 words,’ or worse, ‘1,000 words,’ now that looks to be too much.

Maybe I ought to condense it.  You know, down to two hundred-fifty words.  Then to one hundred. Nope.  Not a story you want to leave readers to imagine.  Has a specific point, a surprise ending.  Sorta.

— Notes —

1 Don’t be silly.  Of course, they don’t deliver kangaroos. Do they?

2 If you’ve followed my posts any length of time (only been here now eight months) especially if you’ve (unlike my afternoon visitor) mindlessly wandered my creative pieces, you know I’ve a running territorial conflict with the local varmint population. Because the hood is home to several PETA-types and because the Boss monitors my outdoor activities, I’ve resorted to various methods to discourage emigration of former woods and grassland denizens into my tiny prairie.  Varmints presently hold a numerical advantage.  Misguided types don’t allow nature’s forces to play out according to the original plan.  They demand metro agencies remove, for example, foxes from our landscape.  In the name of orderliness, they require the city eliminate natural “wild” perimeter refuges where hawks, falcons, owls, and snakes would take up residence.  Natural predators for squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, possums, raccoons, and froufrou doggies are unwelcome.  I merely seek balance.

Published by spwilcen

Retired career IT software engineer, or as we were called in the old days, programmer, it's time to empty my file cabinet of all the "creative" writing accumulated over the years - toss most of it, salvage and publish what is worthwhile.

22 thoughts on “Training Rabbits – January 15, 2021

  1. Great idea, I’m negotiating to purchase a hawk to “scare” the pigeon population that shits in my balcony and I thank you for the idea. Thanks! Four-bare-ants! Brilliant! Lovely post my friend! All the best and I hope you enjoy the weekend!

    1. Thank you. Hm-m-m? Squab? It’s a thought. No one will know. Lissen. You have a super weekend with some warmer weather. Got a ton of things to do, myself. Won’t be long – springtime!

    1. Yunh. Missed a serving of little whites yesterday. Ward is on vacation and the guy standing in is bamboozled by my bluff and bluster. Thank you for looking-in. Do well, sir.

  2. Word game, doh! as in Dauphy. Wouldn’t come. Rattled the noggin, but no. Assumed that at least one of your more intelligent readers would figure it out, but obviously wrong on that count too! Post about kangaroos reminded me that it was the Aussies who imported a variety of toad (Cain Toad) I think, to deal with an indigenous pest problem (beetles I seem to think). Anyway, parts of Australia are now overrun with these Cain toads. Moral clearly being, don’t bugger about with nature! Thanks for reading!🙂

    1. “Editing,” Espie removed a ref to Dauph, the PM, Sir Bump, El Cid and Siskel and Ebert. Can’t be too careful bandying-about names of famous peoples. And near-peoples. Thank you for chiming-in. Yeah, we humans don’t do so good housekeeping-wise here on this blue ball, do we? One or two more notes to get back at, then, with my last swallow of the second cup (a precautionary step) to see what the right side of the pond has been up to.

    1. Thank you for commenting. Appreciate your constant following. Not that I “play” with words so much as I study them and notice little oddities and coincidences. Also love your recipes. I give most of them a go, but don’t remember to come back and comment on my success or dificully. You know I’m doing well with them – I keep coming back!

      1. I definitely enjoy the world of words, there are some bizarre ones in the English language when you stop and think about them but also nothing more pleasing than some well crafted writing. Glad you are enjoying the recipes 🙂

  3. Well, they deliver kangaroo ribs for consumption I’ve been told. And you went there – of COURSE one of them is named Matilda! I also loved the jokes about interactions with obtuse people!

    1. Never had kangaroo. Dunno. Tried rattler and gator. “Obtuse people:” no shortage of material there. Lot of “conversations” mostly unpublished so far, based on this fountain of “inspiration.” Thanks for stopping-in. Appreciate your guidance almost as much as I enjoy your posts.

    1. WW NZain – Thanks for dropping by and signing the guestbook. Imma make sure to follow your work, but I’m so far behind, you’ll see me working backward over a period of time. Let me take this opportunity to suggest you take my precautionary dribble seriously: I do trip over the edge now and again. Best wear your protective gear, especially if you sense the old dude is on a semi-rant tear. I’m not a blogger. Fool myself into believing I’m a writer (we all do dream, no?) my better “stuff” is hidden off the home page under “writing.” See ya around!

      1. I’m giggling and speechless…
        Keep fooling yourself and I’ll get my waders. Yes do follow my work—my stories are also hidden on my home page.
        We have a cat, Mr. Cat who we call “bunny slayer”. He only eats the heads.

      2. Got a deal for you. Let me borrow Mr. Cat. I’ll mow your yard twice for every bunny he brings in, with or without heads. Or, if you want eaves floodlamps replaced, that’s better as it will be well out of sight of the Boss and my sons all bent on curtailing my ladder activities. Even-up. Naturally, I want Mr. Cat to work my warrens here. Doubt my ladders will reach from here to where is it, Oregon, so I’ll rent a 24 footer when I deplane. Ask if, just for fun, Cat will go after the odd chipmunk and devil incarnate squirrels. Bonus!

      3. 😳🙀 definitely good to curtail the ladder activities. Number one cause of death and hip replacements—falling off ladders. Yes, better listen to the Boss and your sons. So then you are familiar with the sound of a rabbit in distress?

      4. Raised rabbits as a kid. My job also to butcher and dress at the appropriate time. So answer is yes. Unnerving the first time. Made certain of my pipe placement thereafter.

      5. Well you certainly have had a full and interesting life! I had a pet rabbit as a kid. Snowball. Pure white. She liked to skate on the ice. No joke. One day she was “gone”. We kids knew what had really happened…

      6. Fun part is realizing there are still a few things left to do, a few holes to fill, and trying to do as many things, fill as many holes as possible. It’s a challenge – keeps me going. Thanks for the nice chat.

      7. You are welcome. Thank you. Life is like filling pot holes. The damned things keep coming back! But yes—fun and challenging.

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