Friday, February 26, 2010

Demon Rabbit

WARNING - This story does have what some may consider cruelty to animals. Survival School in the mountains in Washington. I wasn't too cold since it was the end of July, so it was a lot like camping. Only with fear and a little pain involved. And also the rabbit.

When we are getting ready to go out to the field we're given are MREs (meals ready to eat). We each got 4 packs and a can of what I can only describe as a box of corn flakes that had been compressed down to the size of a candy bar or so. You eat one of those, drink some water and you're pretty much full. But they tasted like crap.

When we get out to the field we are divided in to groups of eight, and the main camp has two such groups. So there are 16 students and 2 instructors per camp.

In my group of 8 there was me, from Mississippi, a guy from Alabama, and then the rest were from like New York City and Chicago and Los Angeles I think. So while me and the other country are loving life having a ball, everyone else is pretty much thinking how much nature sucks.

We go out the first day and we're practicing ground navigation and point to point movements using a compass. You would not believe how long it take some people to figure out how to get from point A to point B without using a road.

When we get back to camp after the first day of learning what you can and can't eat in the woods, and such we sit down and discuss the day. That was when I noticed the rabbit. He was just sitting there all calm and happy munching on some grass. Then I notice the second rabbit, much like the first happily going along with his business.

The instructor tells us that the rabbits, raised domestically, were provided so that we could get hands on experience killing, skinning, and preparing a meal. Me and the guy from Alabama thought this was a great idea, everyone else not so much.

That night we cozy up to the rabbits, we even gave them names. Lunch was the little fluffy one with patch on his back, and Dinner was the other one that was slightly larger, but not quite as cute as Lunch.

Me and Alabama were the only two that found this even remotely funny.

So these rabbits share our camp for 4 days. With me and Alabama doing everything we can to get them as fat as possible in this time. We even tried to feed them some of those box o' corn flake bars, but they weren't having it.

So when the time comes, the instructor asks for volunteers to prepare poor lunch to be fixed. He excludes me and Alabama since we had been talking about this since pretty much after that first MRE.

A Lieutenant (LT), from Chicago, that I guess was trying to impress the other young female LT in our group boldly steps up to accept the challenge.

At this point me and Alabama start giving him suggestions. Lunch was pretty tame because of all the attention me and Alabama had showered on him, so we suggested just picking him and cutting his throat. LT was not going for the option. Ok, what about just grabbing Lunch by his head and twirling him around a few times. Neck breaks, no muss no fuss. But LT didn't want to get bit by Lunch.

Eventually our instructor suggests getting a stick, and holding poor Lunch by his back legs and whacking him the back of the head. Oh..good idea me and Alabama tell him. At this point we just wanted to see Lunch freak out on the LT when he grabbed him by the back legs.

So the LT goes and finds an appropriately sized stick, grabs Lunch and hoists him up by his back legs. At this point Lunch kind of gets the idea that something isn't right. Someone had picked him up and hadn't offered the customary old and dry chocolate M & Ms. Lunch starts squealing and thrashing about, and the LT screams like a little girl and lets Lunch go.

Needless to say me and Alabama are rolling. This is quite possibly one of the funniest things I've ever seen. The LT glares at us but says nothing at this point.

Eventually we get Lunch out of the bushes, feed him some M & Ms as a last meal and get him ready to get whacked on the head by the girly LT.

The LT picks up Lunch again, and gets him all squared away. Pulls back with the stick and gives Lunch a mighty whack, in just the spot he was supposed to hit. Lunch goes limp and me and Alabama and getting ready to skin him.

As the LT is handing off Lunch to me something goes terribly wrong. Just before I take him Lunch starts thrashing around again. Screaming and wailing and making all sorts of noise. At this the other people in the group start screaming and running around, especially the young LT who up until that very instant was sure he was holding on to a dead rabbit.

I jump back because I notice what scared young LT is getting ready to do as he hoists his killing stick back up, and whacks Lunch again. Lunch goes limp, and we're sure this time he's gone.

But he wasn't.

Lunch was still determined he was going to get him some of that LT, now he's really pissed off and trying to bite, scratch, claw anything.

But to the LTs credit he held on to the rabbit that wouldn't die. And whacked him again.

This time as soon as I catch the running LT I grab lunch and just in case he wasn't dead I cut his throat. We string him up, and then we make the LT skin him. Which was in and of itself one the funniest things I've ever seen, because you could tell the LT still thought Lunch might come back and try to get him one more time.

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