We’re going to see the rabbit

‘We’re going to see the rabbit’


We are going to see the rabbit.
We are going to see the rabbit.
Which rabbit, people say?
Which rabbit, ask the children?
Which rabbit?
The only rabbit,
The only rabbit in England,
Sitting behind a barbed-wire fence
Under the floodlights, neon lights,
Sodium lights,
Nibbling grass
On the only patch of grass
In England, in England
(except the grass by the hoardings
Which doesn’t count.)
We are going to see the rabbit
And we must be there on time.
First we shall go by escalator,
Then we shall go by underground,
And then we shall go by motorway,
And then by helicopterway,
And the last 10 yards we shall have to go
On foot.

And now we are going
All the way to see the rabbit,
We are nearly there,
We are longing to see it,
And so is the crowd
Which is here in thousands
With mounted policemen
And big loudspeakers
And bands and banners,
And everyone has come a long way.
But soon we shall see it
Sitting and nibbling
The blades of grass
In – but something has gone wrong!
Why is everyone so angry,
Why is everyone jostling
And slanging and complaining?

The rabbit has gone,
Yes, the rabbit has gone.
He has actually burrowed down into the earth
And made himself a warren, under the earth,
Despite all these people,
And what shall we do?

What can we do?

It is all a pity, you must be disappointed,
Go home and do something for today,
Go home again, go home for today.
For you cannot hear the rabbit, under the earth,
Remarking rather sadly to himself, by himself,
As he rests in his warren, under the earth:
‘It won’t be long, they are bound to come,
They are bound to come and find me, even here.’

by Alan Brownjohn

Beatrix Potter, (1866 -1943) ‘Study of Peter Rabbit’

Ellen Lanyon (1926-2013)
Birth of a Bunny 1970

Rabbits on a Log, 1897
Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (1819–1905)

Boy Holding a Rabbit 1931
Gilbert Spencer (1892–1979)

Featured image: Rabbit and Carrots by Georges van Houten (1888–1964)

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