Heroes we can toast — not roast

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, all stripes and species. Just when you think you know what a heroSuper rabbit
looks like, one of them surprises you.

In a classic ‘believe it or not’
example, a pet rabbit was being hailed a hero last night after saving
his owners from a house fire.

bunny – surprisingly enough called Rabbit – woke up his owners by
scratching at their bedroom door when fire began to spread through the
rest of their Melbourne home.

to roam free through the house, it could have been a case of ‘run
Rabbit, run Rabbit, run, run, run,’ – the bunny could have high-tailed
it through a cat flat or even a gap in a window as the flames took hold.

But instead, he headed for the
bedroom door and began furiously scratching away, creating enough noise
to wake up Mr Gerry Finn and his wife Michelle.

jewellery-maker Mr Finn opened the bedroom door to find out what all
the commotion was, he was beaten back by smoke and heat.

grabbed Rabbit, ushered his wife outside and then called on the help of
neighbours to help him fight the blaze before four fire crews arrived
to dampen things down.

‘There’s absolutely no doubt that Rabbit saved our lives,’ Mrs Finn said last night.

alerted us in the nick of time. We were both fast asleep and we might
not have got out in time if we hadn’t heard the scratching.

I never thought rabbits could be heroes. Then again, I never thought scratching could be heroic.

You may think the incident is just a fluke, that the rabbit didn’t really know what it was doing. Then what do you say about all the other “Super Rabbits”? There’s Colby, who also saved a family from a fire; Dory, who saved the life of a diabetic man; Robin, who saved the life of a diabetic woman; and probably countless other rabbits who just didn’t want any media attention for their good deeds.

Like a lot of people, I’ve had a little rabbit, and let me tell you, I didn’t care for the taste. My wife and I saw rabbit meat in a grocery store in Indiana and thought we’d give it a try. But it just didn’t appeal to us. Perhaps we didn’t use a good recipe or perhaps rabbit is an acquired taste. In any case, the only rabbits I encounter these days are the ones that often enter our yard. My children like watching them through the window. So far, they haven’t done anything heroic, aside from eating a weed or two. More often, they attack my lettuce and spinach, making me wish I had an appreciation for rabbit stew.

Photo by Kodama

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. What would you do? Scratch the bloody door until the stupid human wakes up or run outside into the wild? Number two sounds great. Right? Hang on – option one ends up with loads of carrots and ear scratches – and no shouting when I “do my thing” in the kitchen. Number two means eating the stupid weeds in your backyard. You choose…

  2. Er..this is a direct reply to the ‘What would you do?’ comment. You are thinking like a human (you are one obviously). We are talking about a rabbit. Its not supposed to be able to think – why if it could then there would be recipes for rabbit brain, because they would be big enough to plan one around. As it is, they can be used as raisins in cake if you look at the size. My guess is the rabbit just wanted to get into a place in the house where there is no smoke to choke it – the couple’s room. Simple.

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