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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rabbit Habits (Part II)

The best thing about Harriet might be the way she lounges softly like a bag of warm rice across one's lap. I would have to argue, though, that it is even better to see the way she entertains herself, and us, in her more enthusiastic moments. The biggest crowd-pleaser up Harriet's sleeve might be the floating 180. She executes this maneuver from a full gallop, a gait which more closely resembles the action of Chester Cheetah than of Peter Rabbit. Springing a full 18 or 20 inches into the air, Harriet manages an aerial twist that ends in a flat-out run in the opposite direction. It's a particularly popular move during her morning garden turnout, where she uses the carpeted weedblock pathways as personal hurdling tracks. Our dog Paisley, who is often turned out with her as a hawk deflection measure, serves as a launching platform for her more complex acrobatic endeavors. 

Harriet always amuses us with her free time antics—her gymnastic superman stretch, executed in midair during her liveliest leaps, and her hop-flop, with which she transitions, sproinging up and flopping down, crash between active play and sprawled repose. We all love her ghost walks, during which she covers her face with a clean cloth diaper and roams, blindly nudging, to the tune of my children's collective, spooky moans. We love the way she begs for her breakfast, flipping her heavy ceramic bowl up and over, up and over, up and over, ever backward in a thumping rhythm. 

Unfortunately for all of us, but not least Harry herself, her liberty and gymnastic opportunities have been limited since the last in a series of destructive occurrences. Now, in addition to her daily garden turnout, Harriet makes do with supervised indoor freedom under the watchful eye of my middle daughter D. We like to call D, in this role, Patrol Officer Jones. Never, to my knowledge, has there been a cuter parolee than little Harriet. 

 . . . . to be continued . . . . 

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