Thursday, May 30, 2013

This 'n That Thursdays: Trail Riding and Killer Rabbits!

Just about everyone knows the scene from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975) featuring the Killer Rabbit, "the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!" (although rabbits are actually lagomorphs, not rodents).  Some may even remember the incident of President Jimmy Carter and the crazed aquatic "killer" rabbit.  Well, last week some friends and I got to witness one of these fearsome critters in action!

I have a handsome Tennessee Walking Horse and like to take him trail riding at least once a week at a State Park with horseback riding trails not far from where we live.  I always go with a riding buddy, and last Friday we were accompanied by her daughter as well, who has been competing in endurance trials and is conditioning a new horse for its first competition.

My sweet Tennessee Walking Horse
(photos taken a couple of month ago)

My riding buddy's cute Paso Fino horse

Her daughter on her new Arabian endurance horse

Since they were leaving the next morning for an endurance ride, they wanted to do an easy walk at the park that day, so we were just ambling along enjoying the beautiful and unusually cool weather that had moved in overnight.  Up ahead of us on the trail a rabbit hopped out of the brush.  It was a little larger than most, but otherwise just a typical-looking Eastern cottontail bunny.  And then all of a sudden, it seemed to go berserk, running in short bursts of speed, jumping in and out of the brush, and zigzagging erratically all over the place!  We finally realized that it was chasing something, but we could not see what that something was -- until my friend shouted out that it was chasing a snake!

Sure enough, a few seconds later we all saw a big black rat snake, at least four feet long, leap over a log with the rabbit in hot pursuit.  Then they sped away and we could no longer see them.  We decided that the snake must have been threatening the rabbit's babies in its burrow, and the rabbit attacked to keep its young ones safe.  None of us had ever seen anything like this before, and it was quite exciting!  All I know is I'm glad I wasn't that hapless snake.  I will never take a fuzzy little bunny for granted again!

Watch out -- he could be coming for you next!
(from Animal Mad)

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