Country mouse on an explosion of rabbits

Last winter’s hard weather seems to have done wonders for the fruit trees and the roses. I would have thought it would have decimated the butterflies, but happily not. I had hoped that it would have dented the rabbit population, but sadly it hasn’t. Mr McGregor would have a seizure if he saw our lawn at dawn and dusk, when rabbits of all sizes bob, dig and munch.

The scrapes they have dug resemble the aftermath of cluster bombs, and make cutting the lawn a slalom course. No straight green stripes for me. It was when I was driving between a chicane of holes that I noticed a dead stoat in the middle of the lawn. I am not sure what killed it, perhaps an owl, but I wish it hadn’t. Stoats are voracious killers and just now we need an army of them echoing the size of that which occupied Toad Hall in The Wind in The Willows to get on top of the rabbits.

What is odd, however, is people’s aversion to eating wild rabbit. Cooked with some Dijon mustard or casseroled in red wine, rabbit is both delicious and lean. If you would like to try some, there will be a farmer or gardener near you only too willing to let you.