Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rabbit Rosetta Stone

I can't believe it.  Walter has learned English.  The first few times it happened, I thought it was a fluke.  But last night, I realized he had actually learned one very, very important English phrase: "Get in your cage."

For a handful of nights now, just as bedtime approaches, I stand over Walter and cheerfully announce, "Get in your cage!"  Then I'd give the rabbit a little nudge on his rear, encouraging him towards his habitat.  He'd shake his head, run around the dining table, and then - with me following closely behind, giving him gentle nudges along the way - finally stand in front of his cage.  One more nudge, and in he went.

That alone is huge progress.  It used to be that I'd have to chase Walter all over the apartment to get him even close to his cage at bedtime.  I'd have to pick him up for as long as he'd allow and then redirect his course so that he headed into the cage.

But last night, Walter was lying on the ottoman, melting into a puddle of bunny love while I gave him forehead scratches.  His eyes were closed, he was grinding his teeth: he was completely calm.  Then, I said to him nonchalantly, "It's almost time for you to get in your cage for bedtime."

At the mention of get in your cage,Walter jolted upright.  He looked at me incredulously.  Say it ain't so!  I said it one more time: "Walter, get in your cage." He hopped off the ottoman, gave me some angry head shakes for good measure, and without me following behind him, hopped into the cage for the night.

It's a rabbit miracle!

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