She’ll get by / Without her rabbit pie

This song should be playing while you read today’s post.

I often feel like a novice when I’m out foraging for new things, but never more than last weekend. W. and I have been watching those smug fat bunnies on Madison’s bike paths and thinking about rabbit pie, as I’ve mentioned. What finally lit a fire under our asses: the rabbit meatballs during my birthday dinner at L’Etoile. (Clarification. The … uh … Fantôme Farm Chèvre-filled Agnolotti with Silver River Rabbit Meatballs in SarVecchio-Black Truffle Broth.)

This weekend we went hunting for the first, second and third times. Incidentally, we watched the movie District 9 in between two and three. I felt a certain kindred voracious spirit with the lobsterlike aliens who seemed to be munching or trafficking in whole cow heads every time the camera quit shaking and showed an image I could interpret, every ten minutes or so. Now that was a food movie.

We went to Waunakee after breakfast. I remembered from The Trumpet of the Swan that rabbits are crepuscular, but breakfast is the most important meal, as you know. It was about 35 degrees, mushy and gray. We deduced the round pellets next to rabbitlike tracks were rabbit poo. We slowly tramped through the woods (Certain people have objected that “tramped” does not mean what I think it does, but I refer these deniers to the Middle English, and the Middle Low German trampen). We made lots of noise. My strategy was to step on the snow on top of the brambles and let my weight ruin the cozy rabbit hideaway underneath, thinking they’d run out if their house were collapsing.

It was true. I flushed out one bunny by poking sticks into his poo-decorated hole. It was an exciting few seconds. He ran up the hill and disappeared into a different hole. However, that is also probably where I dropped W.’s camera. Yes. Down the rabbit hole. Wascally wevenge. They are probably uploading nude bunny pictures to the Internet as I write.

When we got home we regrouped. This means we googled “rabbit hunting without beagles.” I had already learned that beagles are recommended. No one seems to recommend cats, unfortunately. I searched for used shotguns—and it was only recently that I learned the difference between a shotgun and a rifle.

The obsession had not waned by Sunday. We tried again, this time trudging through a melting marsh near the Wisconsin River, in the Mazomanie State Wildlife Area. We found clumps of fur, more poo, and a rabbit run. We also found a bird’s nest and a strange frozen swamp, almost glowing sulfur-yellow, dotted with a dozen beaver fortresses. We saw no live rabbits.

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