Here’s our rabbit – working his shift for the clean-up squad. He appears first in the rockery, does a quick check around to make sure that the coast is clear, then he hops down and gets to work. Rabbits have been around for a while – they may have come over with the Romans or even with William The Conqueror. The problem they have, is that they are not easy to tell apart from The Hares. The archaeological record tends to focus of rabbits eaten by humans – so if they were running wild and too clever to be caught, they wouldn’t have left their mark.
Eddie Rabbitt wrote a song “Any Which Way But Loose” and Peter Rabbit wrote a much loved series of children’s books, in between visits to Mr McGregor’s garden, using the pseudonym Beatrix Potter. It goes without saying that nothing in the Hundred Acre Wood would have ever been properly organised without Rabbit. During the Second World War a German half-track motorcycle was referred to as a “rabbit” by allied forces and, if you have a nuclear reactor in the garden shed, you probably have a ‘rabbit’ to stick lumps of ‘stuff’ into holes in the core – to see what happens to them.
White rabbits, no relation to the present company, only appear, of course, from magician’s top hats and when you need to go down a rabbit hole as you’re late and you’re worried because you have to catch a Jefferson Airplane.