Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Bunny

This is as close as I’ll ever get to posting a blog of cute animal pictures. In fact, while we’re here:


Now that we’ve satisfied that Internet quota, I have a rare uplifting story to tell; a tale of heroism against the odds; a legend about the time I had to finger a rabbit to save its life.

...I didn’t say it was going to be a typical uplifting story.

For some years I worked in a pet shop. Contrary to popular belief, this did not entail daily communions of hugging fluffy creatures nor the animal-induced learning of saccharine life lessons. Rather it required being soaked in urine at 6am, dangling hamsters from my fingers by their teeth, and generally battling to prevent idiotic customers from inadvertently murdering their pets.

The rate at which people are able to off their new friends is really quite impressive. Common sense rarely hinders customers from leaving their brand new gerbil in the car while they go shopping. For five hours. At the height of summer. My claim to fame is selling a hamster to the head anchor at ITV news, only for him to return a week later to inform me that his son had ‘thrown it down the stairs.’

So when an elderly gentleman and his young granddaughter approached me about their new rabbit being ill, I was less inclined to care. The girl had likely fed it Super Noodles or tried to sync it with iTunes. I was soon informed that two months prior the little girl’s father had been diagnosed with cancer. Then he’d died. A rabbit had been bought to cheer the girl up. It died. And now its replacement had refused to eat or poop for three days. Half-hourly syringe-feeding was required throughout the night or it would... well, you get the picture.

At this point, to emphasise my heroism, I should point out that this was my tenth work day in a row, with a combined total of near a hundred hours. But like the cold-hearted rom-com businessman who answers his door to find an abandoned squalling babe, my heart melted just enough. I took the rabbit home.

He was tiny, only two months old, ginger and white in colour. His stomach had bloated and hardened like a condom packed with gravel. Every half an hour I forced a feeding syringe behind his front teeth and injected formula that smelled approximately of regurgitated afterbirth down his throat. It’s lucky that rabbits are unable to vomit.

By midnight I had christened him Wilhelm and we were cuddled up on the sofa in front of the TV. Four feedings later, just after 2am, the exclusive first showing of Cheryl Cole’s new music video came on. Wilhelm was clearly not a fan. A gout of diarrhoea lashed across my trouser leg. A torrent of it soaked my crotch as I hoisted him up. I ran for his cage, Wilhelm at arm’s length, splattering a trail of diarrhoea across the carpet and up the stairs. I dropped him into his cage, and with his steely rabbit indifference he filled the corner with a puddle of half-digested formula. When he was finished, I flipped him over to clean him up.

The rabbit had prolapsed. Where usually his exit hole would be obscured by fur, the urgency of his bowel evacuation had forced his bottom inside-out. A shiny pink lump like a pierced tongue protruded from his brown-stained fur.

The diarrhoea was a good sign. But his stomach was still bloated, backed up like a blocked pipe. It could not be cleared while he was wearing his bumhole as a belt. It would have to go back in.

I paused to rub Vaseline on my finger, the rom-com businessman burdened with changing a soiled nappy or consoling his distraught love interest. This was my animal-induced life lesson. Wilhelm must live! Live!

I pressed my fingertip to his flagging behind and with one firm shove popped it back inside. Then I pulled out and watched as the diarrhoea resumed, worse than before. I begged for his bottom to hold. I was an engineer manning the shields on the USS Enterprise, Tommy Lee Jones praying for his lava diversion to take the strain. Until 7am I monitored his butt as the flesh flexed and rippled, but held true.

Later that day the customers returned for their rabbit. Wilhelm was out of the woods. I had been awake for thirty hours and sexually violated what had become my best friend. Like the final scene where the softened rom-com businessman loses custody, they took the rabbit and left. There could be no appeal. They didn’t even bloody say thank you.


  1. This is an amazing story. Not just what happened, but its telling--wording, pacing and each bloated detail. You hooked me with your title and kept me chained with your writing.

  2. Great story. Glad the little guy made it (and I hope his owners didn't do anything to stop him continuing to make it!).

    But what on earth was that a picture of?

    1. Apparently it's a rabbit...

    2. Ah yes, I see the ears. I think. Is it really really fat, or is that just fluff?

  3. Poor Wilhelm :( I have to admit that I am currently dying with laughing at work. Thanks for cheering up a Wednesday!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! There's nothing like bestial sexual violation for a mid-week pick-me-up!