To a Rabbit

I love the rabbits of the UEA campus

So sprightly in the springtime

Seeming to radiate the very essence of life itself

I love their company, and the irresistible smile that finds its way onto my face as I stand there

Oblivious to the backward glances of bemused passers-by

No doubt wondering what exactly that man was doing, staring levelly into the bushes

I'm reminded of another rabbit I met once

At Hillside Animal Sanctuary

One gloriously bright day in May

There was the same smile of course

But it gave way to something else

Something about this particular rabbit

White-furred and pink-eyed

Beautifully resplendent in the warm sun on the deep green grass

Brought uncontrollable tears to my eyes

A reaction to the comparison between such a sight

And how I was used to seeing white-furred, pink-eyed rabbits

The obscene atrocities of the laboratory all too vivid in my mind

Just as Robert Burns took it upon himself to apologise to a mouse

I feel I ought, on behalf of the human race, to apologise to rabbits

Apologise because if I don't, no else will

For all the grotesque barbarities inflicted upon your people by mine

And yet as I stand with my nose not ten feet away from yours

I'm struck by your harmony of constant alertness with blissful nonchalance

To you, I'm simply another curiosity