Liam Farrell: Beware any history of rabbit-induced trauma

This world is a dangerous place, red with tooth and claw, and none of us will leave it alive.

It's a jungle out there, a pasture for monsters and savage beasts, though often peril comes from the most unexpected sources, like the early scenes in Casualty, when someone is gardening and you know that one of those seemingly innocent garden tools is going to become an instrument of torture. 'Watch out for the pitchfork!' you want to shout, but it's too late, and the pitchfork is sticking out of the neighbour's naval.

'The pet rabbit bit me,' Joe complained, with a palpable air of betrayal and injured pride. 'Et tu, Brute,' he might have said. 'What have I ever done to that rabbit, that it should hurt me so?'

I was not impressed; 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 entertaining though this pastime 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, I Googled rabbit-induced trauma.

Persuading my computer to Google anything other than pictures of Britney Spears is always difficult, but even after all my efforts (downloading the pictures takes up quite a bit of time), the search proved fruitless; apparently, even in a pack, even if reared by wolves, and even if cornered, rabbits will not attack humans, though get in the way of a pack of rabbits and a big feed of juicy carrots and you might be in for a stomping, however accidental.

Like stout Cortez, I could only surmise wildly that the most likely danger might arise from the rabbit's admirably vegetarian diet; some minerals, vitamins and fibre might have inadvertently leached into the abrasion, thereby causing an unprecedented surge of rude health, which the patient's sedentary lifestyle and cafeteria diet would be unable to sustain.

And the wise clinician will always explore the past medical history. 'Has your rabbit ever done this before?' I asked.

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