The rabbits who were once my friends, who entertainingly frolicked on the garden. The rabbits who betrayed me by eating my herbaceous border.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse – but they are not ignorant. Once they were relaxed about being seen in the garden – now they skulk guiltily, scuttling off at the slightest noise or movement.
Which is why, for the past few days, I have been working at the PC with a loaded rifle by my side.
There are two main vantage points from which I can be Rabbit Michael Ryan. The French windows look out over the back garden – I keep one slightly ajar so I can cover that area of ground.
The window in the toilet covers the border.
I don’t know if you have ever done any rabbit stalking, but it involves being very still and quiet, and staying in the same place for a length of time. I have a lot of reading to do for work, so this doesn’t matter.
I also don’t know whether you use your toilet for extensive sitting on, but if you’re anything like me it feels a) uncomfortable with the lid down as there is not a shapely fit with your buttocks, and b) uncomfortable with the lid up when you are fully clothed – just somehow wrong. I keep feeling that I will have an accident in my trousers if I sit like that.
I wait in silence on the toilet, the gun poked through the gap in the window, my pants round my ankles.
They had been scrabbling around earlier in some loose cuttings, but here I am covering the juicy new garden-centre-sourced plants that they appear to love so much. My documents conveniently balance on my lap and I work while I wait.
It is around fifteen minutes before something happens.
There is a knock at the door.
It is Mrs Short Tony!!! I have no wish to make the local newspapers, so I adjust my attire before answering the door. We discuss neighbourly things, quite normally.
She has scared the rabbits off; they live to fight another day.