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August 16, 2004
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Blazing Bunny Spreads Fire at Cricket Club

Reuters reports that the members of a London cricket club trying to burn brush ended up with a flaming rabbit rampaging around the course.  No word on whether Bugs made it around all the bases, but under no circumstances did that rabbit go quietly to its death.  Before flaming out he managed to inflict an enormous amount of collateral damage on the club's garden tools.  $110,000 worth, to be precise.  Apparently cricket is a sport that tolerates nothing less than the very best in greenskeeping instruments.
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Rabbits Gone Wrong - It's been known to happen, even to otherwise mild-mannered bunnies.  Some are just born nasty, as was the case depicted here wherein a single rodent made short work of the Round Table.  So how much worse would the situation be if the creature was set afire?  I'd be inclined to take a few of my tormenters with me, and I've got a hunch that our English hare had the same
This incident reminds me of an event from my teenage years.  My friends and I went over to another kid's house, which was on a farm out in the sticks.  I didn't know this kid too well, and I wasn't acquainted with farm customs, but they've got some unique pest control methods in rural America.  Moles are a problem - they leave these unsightly trails around the yard and offer no redeeming value.  This kid had a network of mole trails running aound his yard that was more complicated than the Internet.  When he described his remedy I quickly understood why he had let the problem fester.  The remedial joy was worth the annoyance of tolerating the moles a little longer.  For about half an hour we went around the yard with a can of gas pouring a quart in every hole we could find, covering a good acre of ground.  You can guess the rest.  While we took cover, the farmboy lit the fuse and we watched in wonder  as the yard erupted with flaming moles.  Moles have a wee bit of sense, and most would flee to the holes nearest the lake, where they would come flying out with the muzzle velocity of a rifle shot.  It was like Fourth of July!

That still seems cruel, and I guess it was.  But it solved that kid's mole problem.  Until next year.

Which brings us back to that poor bunny in England.  Those English just don't know how to handle pest control problems dispassionately.  Reuters adds "(t)wo fire engines were called to extinguish the blaze. The rabbit's  skeleton was discovered in the charred hut."  Seems a little lyrical under the circumstances - not your typical objective (i.e., "fair and balanced") reporting.  Then, to my amazement, we learn how  "(t)he firemen were certainly concerned about the rabbit. They felt sorry  for it," according to a gent named Bedbrook, the club chairman.  I don't remember shedding any tears over the mole massacre, but, then again, I'm no cricket player.

I suspect that a fiery rodent can damage more than a few rakes (albeit expensive rakes).  I don't know, but I'm guessing the reporting left some important details out:

Bunny Trauma  - Small children prefer not to have their bunnies well-done.  In fact, it's usually a good idea to avoid the subject of rabbit stew until the tykes are older than five.  Nobody wants to picture the Easter Bunny with third degree burns, much less a charred skeleton that wound up in England.  So imagine the shrieks of horror when that rabbit emerged, fully engulfed, from the woodpile.  The bill for the garden tools will be nothing compared to the counseling bill and the explanations next Easter.  
thought in mind.  Burning flesh has a way of activating the aggressive gene in our normally docile furry friends.  You think a burning ball of hair and flesh hurtling at you is bad, just imagine one with sharp, pointy teeth and claws.
Rabbit Down On Its Luck