2V I Shot the Bunny

August 28, 2007

(Sung to the tune of Bob Marley’s, “I Shot the Sheriff.”)

The following story is rated R for extreme violence. Sensitive people are advised to skip to another blog.

When a Masai boy in Kenya notices a lion killing off cattle (or less politically correct, when he simply notices a lion), he uses a spear to kill the lion so he can complete his rite of passage to become a man.

When I was 12 years old, I held our aggressive Muscovy duck while a neighbor chopped off its head. However, I am out of practice at getting in touch with my inner savage. Now that I have reached the emotional age of 13 at the chronological age of 63, it’s time for me to get in touch with my inner savage again and take another whack at the rite of passage business.

Although we have no cattle pasturing and no lions roaming on our five acres of woods, we do have rabbits preying on Mrs. Random’s organic vegetables, bringing her quickly in touch with her inner savage. First I helped her kill a rabbit with rocks, and finished it off by stomping it with my boot. The next day, by herself in the garden, Mrs. Random killed off another bunny by herself.

Both of us grossed ourselves out by getting in touch with our inner savages. As is typical of civilized humans, we decided to make it easier to kill by using a weapon of remote destruction, namely an air rifle that shoots pellets.

The day after our first futile effort with the air rifle, my wife said, “There’s a rabbit in the front yard.”

I loaded and cocked the air rifle. The rabbit was nibbling weeds in our front yard. As it was not in the garden, perhaps I violated the Rules of War. Nevertheless, as it was about 30 feet away, it was at the distance to focus it in the rifle scope as I leaned my arm on the porch railing. Convenience trumped civility. I leaned my arm on the porch railing. I sighted carefully, took a breath, squeezed the trigger. The rabbit moved a couple of feet, and then stopped, apparently mortally wounded. I reloaded and fired several more times. The rabbit collapsed. I examined it. It looked pretty dead. I tossed it into the woods for the convenience of the crows or the coyotes, whichever scavenger was more convenient.

I suppose we could have cleaned the rabbit and eaten it. I have been told that the wild rabbits are infested with viruses, and are not good for humans to eat. It is more convenient for my inner squeemer to believe that.

Later the same day, I saw another rabbit, closer to the garden. Circumstantial evidence made it easy to infer evil intent. As Cameron noted, rabbits sometimes move very fast. However, rabbits have two responses to danger: flight or freeze. The rabbit moved into a pile of brush left over from a chainsaw outburst and froze. It might have been hidden from a coyote looking from the side, but it was visible to a human looking from above. I came to the conclusion that rabbits are sort of prey on training wheels for beginning hunters.

It took several shots before it stopped writhing and twitching. I am not sure of the etiquette of savagery here. Is it more appropriate to stomp it again, although I find myself reluctant to do this again, or is it acceptable to shoot several pellets into it until it stops writhing?

Perhaps Michael Vick can provide me with some guidance.


4 Responses to “2V I Shot the Bunny”

  1. janie Says:

    I’d say the most important thing, however you do it, is just make sure it’s dead.

    I love your observation about bunnies being “prey on training wheels”. When I was a young girl, learning to hunt with my dad, my brother and I could shoot rabbits. (We felt a great sense of accomplishment about this.) However, our dad and his friends could shoot ducks, geese, and deer. It never occurred to me to wonder why they didn’t bother with rabbits.

  2. Pobre conejo. There are some animals (deer, rabbits, mice) that are just cute (depending on the mice) ways of dressing up a carnivore buffet. I understand that. It still makes me a little sad.

  3. Moongirl Says:

    OMG, this was wickedly funny. The “inner squeemer”… I have that, too. I am presuming there is an important reason you are not using a .22 cal rifle; I used one for my Dad’s gopher abatement program when I was 8. I only ask because there was not the suffering; one shot and the critter was usually killed instantly. FTL, jen

  4. Pete Says:

    Way to go Random! I KNEW you could do it. I say use several rounds instead of the boot. It’s good practice if nothing else! And if you feel any guilt pangs, don’t worry…They’ll make more.LOTS more! We had very few rabbits until a few years ago when a neighbor thoughtfully released their pet rabbits in the wild because they were moving. While I am sure their intention was to share the love with the rest of us neighbors, it resulted in an exploding rabbit population and imploding gardens! Now they live under my porch and shop. Every now and then Roogrr, our german shepard will bring one home… Good Boy!

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