The Corner

Now Here’s a Thing

Now here’s a thing.  On the way to the tree house this morning with my breakfast tray (did I mention that recent upgrades to Treehouse 1.0 include a dumb waiter—essential for the citizen who wants to eat brekkie amid the leaves, with birds singing dawn songs all around him as he scarfs down his Quaker Oats)  I saw two rabbits on the lawn. This was not surprising in itself—our neighborhood is infested with the little critters—but what they were doing was so peculiar I had to stop & watch.

First they face off in a sort of tense crouch, about a rabbit’s-length apart.  Then one leaps straight up—dead vertically—in the air, as if a spring was just released.  Then the other does the same.  This drill is then repeated three or four times. but now with some forward movement, as if the jumper was trying to land on top of the other (though this never even comes close to happening).

After a couple of rounds, I notice something odd and probably icky. At the apogee of the second or third jump, a cloud of fine mist is briefly visible beneath the jumper, apparently sprayed out from his underside.

Courtship?  Fighting?  Territorial marking?  Bunny Olympics?  Or what? I don’t remember anything like this from Watership Down.What’s going on?