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bunny killer

October 19, 2008

I'm at my friend Mathilde's for lunch and we are sitting outside in the autumn sunshine having just eaten a delicious rabbit stew. Biff has been running around the courtyard, happily playing football by himself (very funny to watch) and benefiting from little morsels of rabbit passed down from the table by the other guests.

But suddenly I notice that he has disappeared. And just as suddenly there is a horrible, anguished wail from behind a storage/workshed area, followed by a massive kerfuffle and the sound of things falling. Mathilde jumps to her feet.

'Gabriel's rabbit!' she cries, pulling aside the large artists' canvases stacked in front of a wire gate. And then: 'Don't look!'

I do look, perching on a large pile of coiled rope to peer through into the darkness, where Mathilde is holding up the dead white rabbit that belonged to her 11 year old son.

'Oh my god!' I say, shocked but somehow not shocked, as it all happened so quickly. The contrast between the big white fluffy bunny and my villainous black dog couldn't be more striking.

Mercifully, he has killed the rabbit outright, by going for its neck and presumably, shaking it to death.

'Biff!' I shout. 'Come here, now!" and he eventually slinks out from under the wire gate. I deliver two slaps to his rump, which I hate myself for doing, but it seems appropriate in the circumstances.

Then, after profuse apologies - there are no etiquette books that tell you how to exit gracefully from such a situation - I bundle my young bunny killer into the car and we both drive home in disgrace.

I can't quite reconcile the fact that my darling boy, with his adorable teddy bear features, has committed such a brutal act.

Later Mathilde sends me a charming email. 'Afterwards, Gabriel told me that he does not want to play with Biff anymore,' she writes. 'But then he smiled and said that he was only joking.'

She tells me that Gabriel wasn't very attached to the rabbit - he is more attached to his cats - and anyway he has other things on his mind as he has a romantic assignation at the swimming pool tomorrow with a little girl called Eloise.'

Later, I recount the story to Travis who is horrified and declares that he will refer to Biff as 'The Black-Eyed Bunny Killer' from now on.

'I like to think that any dog of mine would have sniffed that rabbit and played with it a bit, but no more,' he says, before suggesting that I need to start being a little firmer with Biff.

And so this evening (while waiting for Luis to arrive) I watch the Dog Whisperer. By weird synchronicity I turn on the TV at the exact moment that is he is dangling a bunny rabbit in front of the nostrils of a pit-bull like dog.

Unfortunately, I've missed the crucial run-up to this and am not sure how, short of tranquilisers, he got the pit bull like dog to lie on the ground and look so disinterested in the bunny.

But one thing is for sure: I don't think I'm going to be trying this at home anytime soon.

comments (7)

1. Posted by Eagle Wings on October 20, 2008 7:58 AM

Oh dear, this gives a new meaning to being in the "dog house", but thank you for a wonderful blog! Luis, I see, now has a name too.

2. Posted by mimi pompom on October 20, 2008 9:01 AM

Dear Eagle Wings,

He was definitely in the doghouse on this occasion. And yes, I think it is nicer to refer to Luis by name. Most people get the idea that he was once my neighbour but isn't anymore.

Mimi x

3. Posted by Wolfie on October 20, 2008 12:57 PM

Congratulations Biff...something I've always wanted to do to those pesky rabbits myself...Woof!

4. Posted by Eagle Wings on October 20, 2008 12:59 PM

Dear Mimi, Biff by name, biff by nature perhaps?

Eagle Wings

5. Posted by Provincial Lady on October 20, 2008 4:30 PM

Aargh I feel your pain! Have to confess mine did the same to a cat, oh the shame... this is the wuss of a dog who likes shoes and underwear - and turns into a merciless killer the instant any cat/Jack Russell/other small fluffy thing crosses his path. Cesar may be able to reconcile dogs to one particular cat/rabbit but I'm sure he can't cure a greyhound, or a terrier, of their instinct to hunt. On the bright side, it was a French family wasn't it? They probably ate the rabbit anyway ;-) The large white rabbits are the ones they raise for food, at least where I lived (near Lusignan)

6. Posted by lavinia latimer on October 21, 2008 12:55 PM

Darling I know you were looking for some kind of tippet to go with the Chloe wedding ensemble...et voila a lovely rabbit shrug - Biff is so considerate to your needs! and if you leave the blood on it, it could be considered very Dior Couture x

7. Posted by Biff on October 23, 2008 11:04 AM

Dear Wolfie,

believe me it wasn't worth it! I had lots of people shouting at me and then my mistress didn't speak to me for the rest of the day. I would avoid rabbits if I were you

love and licks (looking forward to seeing you at the chateau)


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