A Bunny's Tale

Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1993 02:37:38 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: A Bunny's Tale


There once was a fluffy little bunny rabbit with long floppy ears, two button eyes, and a tiny pink nose with just the smallest speck of ink on its very tip. "A very cute picture of a bunny rabbit," you might say. If you did, you would be quite right, because I am rather good at descriptive writing. It was a warm summer evening with a gentle breeze blowing across the meadow, and the bunny rabbit was sitting outside her burrow on a flat white stone, furiously writing in a large notebook and, every now and then, gazing off into space, thinking. A shifty- eyed fox with a furtive step and a bandit's mask came along the road and spied her sitting there. Just for a moment, he thought of pouncing then and there and eating her immediately. But foxes are notoriously curious, and he considered that if he ate her without more ado, he would never find out what she was doing and what it was that she found so absorbing to write about. And so, he slinked closer and greeted her.

Fox: Good evening, Ms Bunny Rabbit.

Bunny: (wrinkling her nose and writing even faster) Hmm....

Fox: Excuse me.

Bunny: (Finally looking up and seeing the fox) Hmm?

Fox: What are you doing?

Bunny: (Putting dow n her pen) I'm writing my Ph.D. dissertation.

Fox: How very interesting, my dear! I would have written a dissertation, you know, but ... (lowering his voice to a confidential level and looking in all directions before resuming speaking)... they were all against me. I would never have had a chance. I was smarter than them all and they hated me for it.... I would have written a revisionist dissertation about something or other....(More briskly) And just what is your dissertation about?

Bunny: It's called How to Eat Foxes and Wolves: Theoretical Bases and Practical Principles.

Fox: (Bursting out with laughter) Ho, ho, ho! That's so typical of you establishment intellectuals! You're always talking and writing about thing that you don't know the first thing about. What can a fluffy little bunny rabbit with long floppy ears, little button eyes, and a tiny pink nose possibly tell anyone about eating clever foxes and ferocious wolves?

Bunny: Well, if you would care to follow me into my burrow, I'd be happy to show you the primary source upon which I've based most of my work.

The fox agreed, and followed her down into a maze of tunnels. You and I might be hesitant to follow anyone down into a maze of tunnels, but the fox was not afraid, since his own home was not much different, except for being (he noted with considerable pride and a certain unfox-like complacency) considerably larger and tastefully decorated with small piles of the well-gnawed bones of various little animals. If you and I were to have watched them descend, had to wait for only a few minutes before hearing the terrible sounds of tearing cracking bones issuing forth from within the burrow. A few minutes later, we would see the bunny rabbit emerge, licking her lips and with only the smallest speck of red the very tip of her tiny pink nose.

She picked up her pen, gazed off into space for a moment while she considered how to integrate this most recent body of information into her main discussion, and then resumed writing. As she wrote and thought, and thought and wrote, darkness began to fall. Just then, a rather large and ferocious lop-eared wolf came shambling down the road and saw her sitting there, writing. He came up and spoke.

Wolf: Excuse me, little bunny rabbit.

Bunny: Hmm?

Wolf: What are you busy writing about on such a fine summer evening?

Bunny: (Putting down her pen) I'm writing my Ph.D. dissertation.

Wolf: Really. I have a cousin who wrote a dissertation once. He's pulling a sled in Alaska. Only job the sucker could get. Too clever by half! Myself, I never wrote no dissertation. I went to the school of hard knocks, but I got me a good job maintaining the ecological balance of fauna in this section of the forest. But I guess writing dissertations never did little bunny rabbits any harm, 'cause they're not much good for anything in the first place. What's this here dissertation of yours about, anyhow?

Bunny: It's called How to Eat Foxes and Wolves: Theoretical Bases and Practical Principles.

Wolf: (So surprised that he bites down and almost severs his tongue, which has been hanging down almost to the ground as he looked at the bunny rabbit and drooled) Umpf! Yack! Cough, cough, cough! Just what gives you the gall to go around writing about how to eat wolves? I've eaten more bunny rabbits in my time than you've munched lettuce, but I ain't never seen no bunny rabbit so much as nip one of us wolves, much less eat one! Unless you're specializing in creative writing, then you've got the dumbest topic in the world bunny rabbits what gonna eat any strong, valiant wolves, ever!

Bunny: I've done a good deal of research on the subject. If you would care to come down into my burrow, I would be happy to show it to you.

The wolf agreed, figuring that he could devour her in her burrow as well as anywhere else, and he followed her down into the maze. If you and I were to wait there, outside the burrow entrance, for a while, we would soon hear those terrible sounds once again, and then there would be silence. We would finally see the bunny rabbit come out of the burrow with a glass of port in her little paw, go over and sit on her flat white rock, and watch contentedly as the moon began to rise over the meadow and the bats took wing.

Perhaps we too would be overcome with curiosity. If we were, we could go down those winding and branching tunnels ourselves, stunbling in the dark and getting lost half a hundred times, until we came to a place where one of those narrow passages entered a great den. We would look inside briefly, and then tiptoe very quietly back into the bunny rabbit burrow, fearful of waking the great snoring lion who lived there.


Don't ask "What is your dissertation about?" Ask "Who is your supervisor?".

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