The call of the wild (rabbit)

Joe came in with a rabbit bite, I kid you not. If the abrasion had been any more superficial it would have been a protuberance.

Laying on the antiseptic as thick as the sarcasm, I admonished him sternly.

“Were you teasing it with a stick?” I asked, “or putting your hand in and out of its mouth to impress your friends?” Our prehistoric ancestors survived by hunting down small furry creatures, and attractive though this sounds, rabbit meat is no longer an essential part of our diet. But not wanting to be too flippant, and just in case I had missed something, and because I am sometimes A Good Doctor, I googled rabbit-induced trauma.

My search was fruitless; apparently, even in a pack, even if reared by wolves, and even if cornered, rabbits will not attack humans; though if you get between a pack of wild rabbits and their carrots, you might be in for a stomping. Like Stout Cortez, I could wildly surmise only a danger that might come from the rabbits admirably vegetarian diet; some minerals, vitamins, and fibre might have inadvertently leached into the abrasion, there causing an unprecedented surge of rude health which Joe’s sedentary lifestyle and cafeteria diet would be unable to sustain.

Another time Joe insisting on calling me out because he had an “awful” cough. On arrival I found him ensconced snugly in bed, receiving a foot massage from his adoring Irish Mammy, TV + Sky remote controls immediately to hand, and looking inappropriately healthy. When I asked what colour his phlegm was he pointed to a revolting smudge on the floor and said, “You can see for yourself, Doc; here’s one I prepared earlier” (OK, I made that last sentence up) as he once again hawked enthusiastically and theatrically, reminding me perversely of Browning’s wise thrush, who “sings each song twice over lest you think he never could recapture/That first fine careless rapture.”

I prescribed yet another antibiotic, and I expect some day soon to see a big green monster leap out of his lungs and run screaming down the road.

Too many worried well, not enough time for the really sick; everyone loses.



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