Outside the box

I seem to have temporarily solved the problem of the Houdini Sisters. I haven’t woken up to the sight of them scampering joyfully around the garden since I took to wedging a housebrick in front of their wire netting when I shut them up at night. They’re not overly pleased about it, of course, particularly now they know what freedom life holds beyond the rabbit run. But in all honesty confinement in a roomy cage is preferable to confinement in a cooking pot, which was the fate my husband suggested if they continued to wriggle out and chew on my hostas. I haven’t had my hostas chewed on for many a year and I’m not sure they’ll ever recover.

And what a Shenanigans, catching the blighters when they get out! It’s a two person job, which can be a bit of a problem, what with Child Minor being at sports camp (which is a bit like boot camp only you have to pay an extortionate fee to send your child there) and Child Major in a coma until mid afternoon. ‘What happened to you?’ she asked, coming down for 2 o’clock breakfast and eyeing up my wet hair and mud covered knees. ‘Rabbits out; can’t catch ’em; been trying – 40 minutes,’ I panted. ‘Humph, you should’ve just asked me, then,’ was the disdainful reply and out she went and did it. In 5 minutes flat.

I wouldn’t mind so much, but technically they’re not my rabbits. It’s the age old ‘you can have rabbits as long as you look after them’ story gone wrong. So here I am, spending far too much of my summer holiday up to my armpits in wee-soaked sawdust and hay, playing catch with poo pellets and a dustpan. Very difficult with the hood up on one’s rain mac, I can tell you. Let alone the colourful swearing our ancient neighbour gets to hear. (‘Weeeell, and her a teacher!’ I can imagine her thinking.) How am I to know when she’s standing at her dustbin? She should bang the lid about more aggressively, like we do. Or move the bin right across the garden, well away from our fence. The very same fence Flopsy Whitetail managed to push her way through on Saturday morning. ‘Mum! The rabbits’re out!’ yelled Child Minor. ‘Really?’ I replied and pulled the pillow firmly over my ears.

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