Saturday, March 31, 2012

Formatting Issues of the last post..


One day I will remember that when I write my blog posts in Word it does very strange things to the formatting when I copy it to Blogger.

[Bunny Fiction] Speedy and the Scarf.

I don't think many (if any!) would disagree I have an overactive imagination. So, when Mr Speedy Bun posted that he couldn't knit, I wondered about that. If Scout & Sage bunnies taught me anything is that Buns are unstoppable when motivated.

Scout could wiggle under doors. She could leap five feet up, three feet across. She could (and did) leap to my shoulder. She could be found napping on the shelf above the kitchen window. Sage, who was three times her size, could also get under the occasional door when she really, really wanted. The nibble marks on the bottom of said Sage un-proof doors, of course, were pure coincedence.

So, when Mr Speedy Bun says he can't knit? I have my doubts. :)

* * *

Speedy wriggled his nose as he surfed the web on his iPad. A swipe of his paw brought him to the organic vegetable selection and he considered the fresh availability. Unfortunately, it didn't seem the exotic growers had anything the local grocer didn't, so there wasn't much point in fishing he's Mum's NatWest card out of her purse to go shopping.

A little bunny sigh and a few more swipes and he pulled up a random site. Knitting? Really? He wiggled his bum in amusement. Why would anyone spend all their time tying knots in string with a couple of sticks? Sticks were much better for chewing on, and string was always a comfy litter box liner -- even if the pesky two foots didn't let you keep it long. His amusement grew as he swiped through the various patterns and samples. Then he stopped, paw over tablet, nose wriggling a mile a minute.

There was a picture of one of the not-bunnies that humans liked. (Not-bunnies would put up with being picked up, cuddled and having their ears tugged. They might LOOK like bunnies, but every sensible lagomorph knew they were complete fakes.) The not-bunny had a scarf jauntily knotted around its neck. It looked quite handsome. Speedy sat back on his haunches, twisting his head one way and the other to get the best look at the tablet, even back up a a bit so it wasn't quite so blurry in his eyes. He snorted and tossed his head. Well, now HE wanted one of those scarf things!

He nosed down the list of what you were supposed to do with the sticks and string to get a scarf, but it seemed like an awful lot of tedious bother. He had better things to do with his time than tie knots, no matter how good he'd look. But, this is all why he kept pet humans! He nosed his tablet off and tucked it back under his bed so the humans wouldn't catch on that it wasn't the other buying all the good veggies. Humans were a bit thick, but even they could add two and two .. most days.

He hopped through the house, doing a double binky twist in excited glee. Well, okay, and it amused the female human and she would sometimes let the male human give him extra treats. He knew he shouldn't eat so many of those sugary good things, it mean he had to spend all that extra time doing the bunny five hundred through the house, but they were just so tasty!

Now, he was pretty sure he'd seen some of those string things in one of the cubbies. He sat back up on his haunches and had a good look around, as well as a good listen, of course, to make sure none of the humans were paying attention. The female was doing her favourite stare-at-the-food-thing, not that she ever ate those tasty paper pages, and the male didn't seem to be in the house.  Speedy carefully, and quietly nudged open the cubbie door. It involved sticking his nose into the crack and scrabbling at it with his front feet until he could get enough room to grab the edge with his teeth and shove it open. Being a svelte and nimble guy, he didn't need much room to sneak into what the humans called a closet.

There was the big-noisy-thing, sitting in its den trying to look all innocent. Speedy was quite prepared to give it's tail a good chomp, but he didn't want to wake up it and have it be all noisy and get his hu-mum to come running to rescue it from him. Stupid noisy thing. Every time he just started to have a really good fun party, the noisy thing would show up to destroy the artwork.  His eyes could see plenty well in the dusk inside, and sure enough, there was the paper shopping bag he remembered; full of lots of colours of string and a few sticks that were not fun to chew on as they were hard and cold.

Paws on the edge, he didn't have much difficulty pulling the bag over, spilling a few balls of string and getting the sticks within reach. He grabbed the sticks and shoved them under the door, and then picked up the balls and batted them through the crack. Irritatingly, he had to wiggle the door open a bit further. Apparently, small balls of string weren't as compactable as handsome, debonair, talented rabbits.

He wiggled back out of the closet and closed the door with a shove of his hind feet. He then picked up the sticks and used them to herd the balls of string. With careful deliberation he left them sitting in the hallway to the water room. The two feet were forever coming and going to that room. With a satisfied sniff he turned tail and hopped back to the room he was supposed to be in and decided a half-nap was in order.

Half-naps were a bunny specialty. It's when you were pretty sure something was going to happen sooner or later, so you kept an ear at periscope while you napped. After all, it was pretty boring to sit around wait for the two feet to get their acts together when you could have a perfectly acceptable nap in the mean time.

It seemed forever before the hu-mum finally decided to visit the water room. Both ears perked up as he heard her make the discovery over the string and sticks. She tsked, wondered, muttered and seemed to put them aside in her play room before going to the water room. She then, after leaving the water room, went back to staring at the block of paper food and ignored the sticks and string.

He sighed. Humans could just be so thick sometimes!

Curling up, feet under him, he had a good think. He hadn't quite worked out how to get his tablet to print out to the printer yet. He wasn't quite sure if they could talk. Computers, sometimes, were as difficult to teach as the humans who made them. So, he'd have to use the hu-mum's machine.

A quick sneak back down the hall revealed his hu-mom was still staring at the food. He shook his head in amazement. Really, why would you just STARE at something so tasty? It was a quick stealth across the doorway. He heard her look up so he stood perfectly still before he heard her blink a few times and go back to her staring. And the humans thought rabbit ears were just to look good! Silly, poor, ignorant, humans!  He went into the playroom, sure enough, there was the sticks and string sitting on the desk. He rolled his eyes and shoved the rolly-chair closer to the desk. A quick hop up unto the chair, another little jaunt across air, and he was on the desk, looking at the keyboard.

"Is that you, dear?" the hu-mum called.

Speedy gave her a look over his shoulder, who else would it be? Silly human. He then turned back to the machine and nosed the spacebar to bring the screen back to life. He eyed the keyboard. He really didn't like these things, they hurt his nose as he pushed and pushed, but the buttons were mostly too small for him to hit with his paw. Really, on screen keyboards were much more sensible for the lagomorphic internet user. But, if he wanted his scarf.. 

Another sigh, and he started to hit keys with his nose, the bunny brain being very good at remembering any bit of trivia it wanted. It didn't take much effort to recall a seventy-three digit website address and soon enough he was staring at the top of his scarf page. He eyed the mouse with distaste. He knew the middle wheely bit was what he had to move to get more of the page to show, but when he tried to move just that, the mouse would scoot away. It took some effort to jam the mouse up against the keyboard and tooth the wheel enough show the scarf he wanted. And then he had to get the silly thing to print. Boy, it was an awful lot of hard work.  He left the printer spewing out pages as he headed back to his den for a proper nap. He was very, very, tired by this point!

Part of his brain heard the hu-mum wander into the playroom and mutter to herself. Something about 'Is he really going to knit Speedy a scarf?' and 'Did he really need to print out sixteen pages?' and then 'But bright pink? I'm not sure Speedy would like bright pink wool..' and of course, the usual, 'Where has he gotten to?' could be as ignored by Speedy as usual, since he never knew if she meant himself or her hu-male. Either way, it never much mattered.

Speedy eventually woke up and gave a good yawn and stretch. He hopped over to see if the hu-mum was working on his scarf yet. No, she seemed to be doing something in the food room. Giving his head a shake he headed down to the play room. Well, the string and sticks had been moved to be sitting on top of the printed out pages at the edge of the desk, but that was it. Speedy grumbled to himself, the two feet were being awfully thick again! Hearing the hu-male appear he dashed back to where they thought he belonged, and he lent an ear to the important job of listening.

The two feet seemed to be discussing that 'work' thing, and then the 'food' stuff, which Speedy couldn't disagree wasn't an unimportant thing to discuss, especially when it came to 'Oh, has Speedy had his salad yet?'. Speedy believed Speedy couldn't have enough salads. He'd heard some rabbits were lucky enough to have humans who didn't communicate about who fed the rabbit and they'd get twice as much yummy, but unfortunately, his humans were a bit too coordinated for that. Pesky humans. It seemed forever before they got around to discussing his scarf. There was all sorts of noises of laughter and friendly argument. Apparently, they both thought the other thought the other should do it and neither were willing to get around to it!

Speedy stomped a front paw. Oh really, this was just too much. It was a couple of sticks, some string and some knot tying needed doing. Surely those with the hands could get around to this! It shouldn't be such a trial for a bun.

Finally he heard the magic words of the hu-mum agreeing to make his scarf 'after dinner.' He didn't even much care at this point after whose dinner! She thought the binky he made as she carried in his salad was for the food, not a victory dance, but that's okay, the humans were rarely right anyway.  He wanted to dash through dinner, in case it was after his dinner she'd meant, but he didn't think he was that lucky. The humans were being awfully slow and thick today, after all. So he took his usual time with his own dinner before pretending to be all pleased when the hu-male let him out. Seriously, did they think such a silly little gate kept him locked in?

He bounced down the hallway to the food room and danced around his hu-mum's feet. Was she going to make his scarf yet? He really wanted his scarf. No, apparently she had to load the dishes. Geez, couldn't the hu-male? It wasn't like the football scores were really all that important! Oh, sure, they might take turns with the house stuff, but there was a scarf that needed doing, the hu-male could take an extra turn! The hu-mum seemed to find his hyper irritation amusing, but she did eventually wander down to the play room and pick up the papers, the sticks and the string before wandering back to the noisy room to sit with the hu-male.

She sorted through the papers before tossing a bunch on the ground for Speedy to 'recycle'. He pounced on them and immediately started gnawing on the tasty, crisp, edges. She was still chuckling as she started tying knots around the sticks with the string. Speedy flomped on top of the rejected pages, to look up at her with one eye. Boy, this knitting stuff was a heck of a lot of hard work! He'd better take an extra nap in case more work was needed!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

[Blog Post : Mission Knitting COMPLETE!]

Pretend the little stinker Fergie hadn't just ducked into the hidey.

I think I first learnt how to knit when I was five. I was quite terrible at it, I added stiches as the mood struck me, I split wool, I dropped stitches, and my scarves were this wibbly wobbly mess that I wouldn't put on my worst enemy.. not that I ever finished any!

Having followed Shell over at Raspberry Rabbits and Donna over at Lavender Rabbits and their glorious creations for a while now, I finally decided to get back into the crafting world. I enjoyed tapestry work but if you've seen the price for preprinted tapestries, you'd know why I decided to give knitting another go!

Up above is the first knitting creation I have ever finished! Its not perfect .. a couple of the squares are a bit retangular because I lost track of how many rows I'd knit .. and I may have miscounted stitches.. but its passes the casual muster AND it keeps my neck warm. :)  It's made from reclaimed wool (donated via Full Circles) and rather abused bamboo needles.

So thank you Shell (Happy Birthday!), Donna, my very patient mother who answered 5,000 knitting questions 10,000 times, and Penny Dablin over at The Knitting Site. (With bonus of her beautiful accent patiently explaining everything via video!)

I kind of want to learn Intarsia Knitting now.. but I figure one ambition at a time. Next is a blanket for my bed. :) All my blankets are twin sized .. My bed is queen. I figure I may actually have it finished before winter sets in again. (Ahahaha. The scarf took me a year and two months.)

The gerbilly opinion is about the same as the lagomorphic, I'm sure. "Okay, so can we chew on it and make a nest of it now?"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chocolate Bunnies for Easter

Bunnies sure are cute little guys. Their wiggly little noses, their expressive ears, their ability to look at you with contempt and disdain.. They also have a reputation for being quiet low maintenance pets. I think all bunny slaves laugh at that notion.

Bunnies need entertainment. They need toys, they need attention, they need love. Bunnies need space to run and roam. They need appropriate food, not the sugar heavy things often shown in media. They also live longer that most dogs.

The pet rabbit can't be kept in a cage and poked at every once in a while. They need as much room and freedom as a cat. Like a cat, they can be litterbox trained. As far as maintenance as a pet goes, they're probably about halfway between a cat and a dog.

They are most active at dusk and dawn.. and the occassional three am bunny run fest. They'll see you off to work and then look at you to see if you have treats when you come home.

As a prey animal, bunnies take a long while to warm up to predators. (Humans are predators, even the veggie-only eating ones.) But once befriended (and we're speaking weeks rather than days), they are yours until they die. They won't understand why their human bondmate leaves them or gives them away.

Animals aren't disposable. They're a deep commitment to a living, breathing, feeling, loving, animal. If you can't promise to care for an animal for its full lifespan, please, get a plush toy instead. Animals aren't a "teaching tool" for children, at home or at school. If your child isn't responsible NOW, an animal to care for; an animal they will come to resent, won't help.

And if you want a bunny for Easter, there are so many types of chocolate ones down at the nearest store.

Spread the word, bunnies are not on a whim pets!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vicious Bunny Attacks.

I think we've discussed my brother's craziness before. Not only does he run marathons, but he runs "ultramarathons." Because, apparently, twenty-six miles non-stop just isn't enough.. lets do thirty or more. He is not alone in his insanity, there are hundreds (probably thousands) of people who call this fun. Each to his or her own, as long as they don't expect me to run with them! Anyway, they have a mailing list and one of their regular posters is a gentleman named Laz who has a dog named Big. (He actually has three dogs, but Big gets the most stories posted about him.)

Big is a pit bull. So we all know that means he's not the kind of sloppy dog that just wants to be friends with the world and have his tummy rubbed. (I may be employing some sarcasm there. Humans raise bad dogs, they're not born that way.) In fact, Big even has his own book! (Which I think everyone should buy and read.) Upon meeting Big for the first time a lot of humans seem to think he's a vicious animal. Laz mentioned about the only way he can see Big getting mean is if someone tries to bite Amy. This reminded me of Sage and the vicious rabbit story.  (You can see the rabid rabbit above looking quite ferocious.)

For those not familiar with the antics of Sage Bunny, she liked being outside. She liked going on walks. She was friends with most of the cats and dogs in the area. If I was working on the garden (a rare occurrence, I'll admit..) she'd flomp in the grass behind me and help dispose of any edible weeds that happen to appear near her.  (She was quite the helpful and generous bunny that way.)

My neighbour, to use politest terms possible, was a butt monkey. He gave trailer trash a bad name. He also had a dog, a chihuahua that spent most of its time yapping and barking. (This had NOTHING to do with a certain rabbit's favourite game of sitting in the window with the fan behind her, honest.) One day I was out in the yard, Sage three quarters asleep behind me, when Mr Butt Monkey came out, dog yapping at his heels. Dog made a bee line for me and attempted to chomp on my ankle.

I say 'attempted' because my darling little rabbit, who loved all things fuzzy and tried to adopt every animal that she met, was up on all fours like a shot and had grabbed said dog by the scruff of its neck and whipped it halfway across the yard. Anyone who has seen a rabbit in full flight has seen how fast they can move when properly motivated - up to twenty-six miles an hour or more. Our house rabbits are rarely that motivated, even if treats are involved. My little Sagey Boo was quite motivated that day! She had a hate on for that dog to begin with and then it dared bite HER ape!

My sweet little five pound silver Dutch rabbit had a habit of flinging my shoes at my head if her food bowl was empty or the water wasn't to her liking. A small yapping dog wasn't much of a challenge. I think the little beast was too surprised to even yelp. It landed, rolled, and started up yapping and barking some more. For some strange reason, however, it didn't take one step towards me or Sage. Mr Butt Monkey, however, started frothing about how my rabbit attacked his precious doggie and how it could have killed her and blah blah blah. Yes, nothing to say of how his dog attacked me first and Sage was defending me.

Sage's response was to turn butt and start grooming. "You are not even a threat to me, ape and yapping rat." I rather ruined the effect by picking her up and going into the house while neighbour followed ranting. I shut the door in his face, put Sage down and offered her a papaya treat that her Aunty Lisa had sent up. She very generously took the treat, ate it, and went back to grooming.

Now, most people would think this incident would stop there. Oh no, of course not. Mr Butt Monkey went to the park management to protest. They told him he was crazy. (They may or may not have used those exact words. Depends on the mood they were in.) He decided he wasn't getting justice from management so he called the Conservation Officers in. We were in a Provincial park, so it had all sorts of crazy rules and a lack of municipal government.

The next day, I have a very nice conservation officer knocking on my door. I was a bit surprised to see him but invited him in. He explained he was there to (sigh) investigate a dangerous rabbit. Sage, who was flomped out in the living room lifted her head at this. Probably quite liked the idea she was considered a threat to humanity, nasty dogs and society in general. I asked him if he wanted to meet Sage, he said please, so I gave him a piece of papaya to hold out for her and made the 'treat noise.'

She barrelled over, sat back on her hind legs and daintily took the bit of papaya from him. (She never had such good manners for ME, the little heathen.) He pet her nose, we talked about pet bunnies, he eventually left after deciding that Sage was a perfectly nice bunny and not a danger at all. (Somehow, I don't think he considered her much of a danger in the first place.)

Somehow, the kids who collected clover and dandelions for my spoiled little princess heard about the story. For a few weeks there were "Beware of attack rabbit!" signs posted on the community board. "Will eat dandelions, clover and grass without warning!" and similar comments. Mr Monkey Butthead, I think, never quite forgave me for his becoming a laughing stock.

But geez, you'd think everyone would know.. don't mess with a rabbit's pet human. You won't like them when they're irritated.