Sunday, June 3, 2012

How Easy Do Rabbit Heads Pull Off?

I have a bunch of rabbits in my yard. I see them everyday. They haven't been thinned out now for generations, meaning rabbit generations. Grandpa used to make traps for them, and we'd eat a lot of rabbit. But since his death, I have pretty much given up the old ways. Now I eat store-bought food, and I can't think of the last time the store had rabbit.

I used to go hunting for rabbits. Of course this was an activity that came from my grandpa and the other male members of the family. We'd get up bright and early, between September and February, and head out to the ditches in the country. You needed a .410 shotgun for rabbits. But you couldn't legally have your shotgun already put together in the car, so you needed to stop, get the gun pieces, put it together, and get it loaded, and hope, in all that time, that the rabbit wasn't already gone. Rabbits must be very dumb, because we'd still get lots of them.

As for the skinning of a rabbit, naturally it was the same whether you shot them or caught them in a trap. The first thing you do is pull their head off. And it's remarkable, but there's nothing easier in the world than pulling off a rabbit's head. You put it under your shoe or boot, holding it by the back legs, and pull. You don't even need to strain yourself, because their heads come off like they're held on by a single thread. Nothing easier. Maybe waving hi.

These days, to tell the truth, I hate killing anything. The other day I destroyed the appearance of an iPod player to rescue a gnat. That's how much I hate killing. Although, to be honest, I've killed a few bugs that have suddenly landed on me. It's just an instinctual reaction, happening just that quick, and didn't come from my considered judgment. A small spider was in the sink and I was very considerate of its well-being. But back then, we ate rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, turtles, raccoons, 'possums, and every variety of fish. I was raised by people who lived through the Depression. We ate dandelion plants from the yard! And it was all good, too...

That meant I'd personally get a rabbit every now and then. And it was actually not that disagreeable to pull off their heads. They're obviously designed to come off easily. God knew they'd be way down the food chain, so why give them good neck muscles? Connect them with the sinew equivalent of Scotch tape and be done with it. A rabbit gets up in the middle of the night for a midnight snack and trips over a rock ... whoops, lost his head!

I said that about God and the food chain. That might be the real story on rabbits' heads. But there's other critters down there with them, squirrels and fish come to mind, and their heads are on good and secure. I can't remember what we did with squirrels, but obviously their heads don't come off as easily as rabbits, because that's something I would remember.

Rabbits' heads are barely attached. We can go our whole lives without seeing another human decapitated. Not rabbits.

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