Saturday, 14 April 2012

The size of a Rabbit's lungs

Baby Rabbits have the lung capacity of an average Opera Singer
It is one of those stupid facts that I have come to know, ever since Albert has found out that they make grand hunting material out on the field.
Once grabbed.
Their only defence is to open their mouths , take a desperate deep breath and blast out a top c worthy of anything Joan Sutherland could belt out whist dressed as a Viking in blond plaits and holding a trident and all in the hopeful result that the noise would rupture the predator's ear drums, letting the baby escape.
I was running late this morning, so a screaming bunny was the last thing I wanted to cope with.
Chris was laid up with a cold   man flu so I got up extra early, fed and watered the animals, let them all out to forage and walked the dogs. I then made said invalid a cup of tea, grabbed myself a bagel and coffee and after tucking my uniform under my arm I raced out to the car a few minutes late for work.
I had just left the kitchen door when Albert bounded over the garden wall with a baby rabbit in his mouth. Spying the dogs all lined up behind me, he crashed to a stop like a cartoon and without a pause and with some gusto, spat the baby rabbit out at my feet.
For a split second nothing happened.
Then the rabbit screamed like a banshee
And as usual all hell let loose.
Mabel surged forward like a bullet, knocking me over and sending my uniform and lunch box flying.
In the resulting hysteria,  the rabbit led the dogs a merry dance in and behind the patio planters as Albert watched the fun through slitty little feline eyes. It took me an age to capture the little bastard and let him free in the graveyard and when I finally got to work the senior sister had something interesting to say about infection control when she pointed to two large bulldog paw prints on the front of my uniform.....
Working with the acutely ill was a doddle after all that


  1. Anonymous10:47 pm

    No end of excitement over at your place. They do make quite the noise don't they? I used to raise rabbits as a kid and if anyone strange came near them they all started screeching.

  2. I did not know that about rabbits... How dumb am I? Hope you are now having fun, doddling around!

  3. 'Let him free in the graveyard' - how often does that happen? Pigs make a similar fuss to rabbits when under a life-threat too.

  4. tom
    pigs scream if you look at them in the wrong way!

  5. And Albert walks away with a grin on his face. :) That's what I love about cats.

    A to Z of Immortals, Myths & Legends

  6. You ought to have called your equivalent of the Department of Social Services on those irresponsible rabbits. Where were the parents, I ask you!??

  7. Wow, there's never a dull moment on your farm when the pets decide to mix it up a bit and have some fun.

    I love reading your blog.

  8. Watership Down taught me about rabbits shrieking. A life with them has taught me about the malevolence of cats. (and I still love the furry bastards).

  9. I was just about to turn in for the night when up pops the headline 'The size of a Rabbit's lungs' and I couldn't resist reading the rest.

    I shall go to sleep chuckling tonight, but if I suffer any permanent psychological damage from dreaming about screaming zombie rabbits, I know who to sue!

  10. Oh God have no idea how that episode lifted my spirits today. I LOVE you!

  11. Oh God have no idea how that episode lifted my spirits today. I LOVE you!

  12. I'll never forget the sound of my neighbors rabbit being taken from her garden by a fox...awful.

    I got a real visual of all this commotion this morning. You do tell it so well.

  13. Rabbits are a real pest in Australia. They were introduced in the 19th century, and cause millions of dollars of damage to crops. The infestation appears to have originated with the release of 12 wild rabbits by Thomas Austin, an Englishman, on his property, Barwon Park, near Winchelsea, Victoria, in October 1859 for hunting purposes.

    By 1890 rabbits were at plague numbers. And by the 1920s their numbers had reached an estimated ten billion.

    At first trapping, shooting and dynamiting the warrens were the only controls (that and Western Australia's great "Rabbit proof fence"). The Myxoma virus was introduced in the 1950's but despite its initial success rabbits became immune to that by the 1980's.

    To combat this trend, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) comprehensively tested, over three years from June 1991, the release of calicivirus to cause rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) but some idiot released it on to his property before the assigned date ( a co-ordinated national release date had been planned to prevent the rabbit from acquiring an immune defence) and so the calicivirus also became useless - and at great expense to the nation.

    Poisoning rabbits is effective but unfortunately has collateral effect to other species like lizards, hawks and owls that feed off the poisoned carcasses.

    Wild rabbit topics are not well received as 'pretty bunny' discussions in rural Australia.
    Rabbit poison cart, “Toxicon”, Clyde Engineering Pty Ltd, after 1902, 88/289-894. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

  14. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger!
    Jane x

  15. Oh my gosh, John. *hugs*
    Shame on Albert! He is obviously feeling better.

    Hope you have a better Sunday!

  16. Someone should make a sit-com based on your life. It'd be soooo much better than most of the fare on TV these days.

  17. You clocked in late???? [hope you didn't get written up]
    Glad Albert is feeling better

  18. Two prizes today, John. One for your title, and another for being saviour of all beasts.

  19. What Cro said, plus a third prize for finding that fabulous image. perfect.

  20. Albert's got his mojo back .......

  21. Baby Rabbits have the lung capacity of an average Opera Singer

    So do Muntjac deer as my 2 lurchers will confess.

  22. ...'pigs scream if you look at them in the wrong way!'
    Pleeeeeeeze! The story was enough without this added comment. A visit to the loo is now more than imminent.

  23. just a regular quiet morning before work then!! Didn't know that about baby rabbits.

  24. I've heard that rabbits scream, but never actually heard one scream. (Although would I know that it was a rabbit screaming if it wasn't dropped at my feet?)

  25. Didn't know rabbits made any noise at all, let alone a scream like Joan. They are cute though, you must admit.

  26. I've never heard a rabbit scream.

    Our neighbours screamed when my pet rabbit escaped into their garden & started to help herself to their buffet for their daughter's wedding reception !

    Bad wabbit - she was called Dandelion but obviously had a taste for more exotic food than dandelion leaves.

  27. Ah - you big softy. Sadly the farmer would have rung its neck - a rabbit and a farmer are never mentioned in the same sentence.

  28. Well, there's an exciting start to your day! And I have heard a rabbit scream before. It's not pretty. Talk about ruptured eardrums!

  29. Oh, Lord! Takes me back to my adolescence when I first heard a bunny scream - until then I thought they had no voice at all! You kind hearted soul, you! I wonder who will be screaming when the bunny, and all his/her descendents, get into your garden?!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  30. I've heard rabbits scream. It always makes my blood run cold when i hear it.

    At our old location, Grace would make a present of a baby bunny at least once a season. I think she caught the same one three days running, and it didn't scream, only tried to hop in the coat closet.

    She gutted a few in the back yard, and always lay by them, well pleased with her work and expecting us to ooh and aah.



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