Snark Week: Hoppin’ down the bunny trail–to hell!


800px-Late_for_EasterTheir fur is so soft. Their paws are velvet. And the twitch of their little noses can send people into paroxysms of baby talk. But behind that cute little “bunny” is a fearsome rabbit, ready to destroy everything in its path.

Yes, the true nature of the rabbit is starting to come to light. Australia has battled rampant rabbits for years with everything from fences to viruses. On Destruction Island, off the coast of Washington, researchers are studying how invasive rabbits are helping the island live up to its name; these rabbits, possibly descendants of a pet kept by a lighthouse keeper’s daughter, now decimate perennial native grasses, cause erosion, shrink habitat for burrowing birds, and tempt eagles with their siren-like soft fur and Hasenpfeffer-style deliciousness. The eagles then prey on rhinoceros auklets and scare tufted puffins from their burrows.

Rabbits’ darker side shouldn’t surprise me. After all, I read Bunnicula; I know that rabbits are nothing more than vegetable-sucking vampires.  And once, we rented a rabbit from a local wildlife museum. The first moment it was unsupervised, it hopped to the edge of my brother’s bunk bed and unleashed a torrent of pellets. (It’s possible that my mother paid the rabbit off; she had hoped we would decide that we didn’t want a rabbit as a pet.)

Rabbits: masters of illusion

But now I am an advocate of even stricter rabbit controls. I have stumbled on an important film that foretells the even greater potential for rabbit terror, should their cuteness continue to bamboozle people into thinking they are docile, innocent mammals.

Night of the Lepus provides a glimpse of the extreme devastation to come–in this case, when attempts to exterminate an exploding rabbit population on a Southwestern ranch go wrong. The result: bunnies the size of wolves that rip apart horses, cows, even people, in a flying fury of limbs and blood so crimson that it looks almost like red paint.

Janet Leigh, who played one of the scientists involved in the genetic experiments responsible for this oversized rabbit wrath, reportedly said, “I’ve forgotten as much as I could about this picture.” No doubt the psychological trauma from having to face the rabbit’s innate ferocity—so disturbing, in fact, that a man in a rabbit suit was needed as a stunt double for actual rabbits in some scenes—contributed to the repression of these awful memories.

But I must be strong. I will not forget what I learned, and I stand with all those who fight giant, ravenous bunnies. We will plant our victory gardens with carrots, gorilla-sized carrots, to use in our defense.


Top image: Benson Kua


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10 thoughts on “Snark Week: Hoppin’ down the bunny trail–to hell!

  1. Have you read Watership Down??? I still have the psychological scars of that rabbit oriented documentary. Bloodthirsty creatures.

  2. I’d completely blocked Watership Down out–I remember it being terribly upsetting. (I think I saw the cartoon movie, I’m not sure that I made it all the way through the book.)

    And no! Now I will have to look up the killer rabbit of Caerbannog. These carrots can’t grow fast enough.

  3. Oh, now I’m terribly embarrassed. How could I forget the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog?! Brave Sir Robin is now bravely running away, with her carrot.

  4. Fantastic, Cameron.

    I second W on the feelings related to Watership Down. I remember starting that book feeling like “Oh, how bad can it be? It’s just bunnies.” I am still creeped out by the female rabbits re-absorbing unborn young into their bodies when “conditions were not favorable to birth them” or some such thing. Is that a real thing or was it a fantastical imagining? I’ve always been too disturbed to look it up. Baby-eating wombs. Seriously.

  5. Man, Cameron, if you really wanted to terrify people, you should have just linked to clips from Watership Down. I had no idea. Let’s not forget that the bunnies of Watership Down are non-natives as well. Conquistadors, if you will, running amok on the English countryside. The breedy little bastards achieved what Spain never could.

  6. Watership Down is so awesome, but it is truly disturbing. And I also have very vivid memories of Bunnicula. (I like to call parsnips “Bunnicula carrots,” but no one in my household knows what I’m talking about.)

  7. Rabbits are perverse. Years ago a lady gave us a male Chocolate Dutch rabbit because it was eating her rose bushes. She remarked at the time that after she got the rabbit the neighborhood cats quit using her flower beds for restrooms. Shortly after getting the bunny home we learned why the cats quit coming around her place; the 10# meadow muncher would attempt to have sex with any cat that came in range, and he didn’t care whether it was a girl cat or a boy cat. Thereafter he resided in a hutch, much to the relief of our barn cats.

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