What you’re looking at here is a sight very few trespassers see and live to talk about. This is Captain Hornwort, the head of our local garrison of guard rabbits. Don’t let his benign looking appearance fool you. These are formidable creatures and they do an excellent job of protecting the fenceline around the outlying areas of The Institution. In the past for our security needs, we had always used a breed of guard dog developed especially for patrolling and protecting various Institutes around the world and which our tame genetic scientists then modified slightly to accommodate the terrain and conditions we have here at our Institute.
The dogs were a cross of three breeds noted to be among the fiercest, scariest, meanest dogs on the planet. The mixture was of a breed called Kangal, from Turkey which has the second strongest canine bite after the hyena at 700 psi, the Presa Canario from Spain which regularly eats Boerboels, a South African dog, another really nasty breed, for breakfast, the Ovecharka also known as the Caucasian Shepard, from Cental Asia which is slightly smaller than a Volkswagen Beetle, the old ones, not the new ones, and meaner than a snake to boot, and our own contribution to the mix was the addition of the Lhasa Apso, a breed chosen for its zen-like disposition and ability to tone down slightly the ferocious nature of the other breeds and also making the resulting animal cuter, so it wouldn’t completely terrify the interns selected to care for the kennels.
These guard dogs were terrifying vicious animals. Forget about your pit-bulls, Rottweiler’s and Dobie’s, our breed of guard dogs kept those as sex toys. We still find bones and sometimes full skeletons of those trespassers that didn’t heed the warning signs that are posted every ten feet on our razor wire fence. These dogs would even eat the deadhead patches off the victims clothing. That’s how mean they are. They would make your bad dog dribble just by mentioning their name. That was until a fortunate or unfortunate accident depending on your viewpoint, occurred when a feral wolf, itself so mean, it was driven from its pack for excessive force, accidentally mated with one of our Institute’s rabbits causing a genetic aberration of biblical proportions. What was created was an animal that so far outdid our dogs in ferocity, fearsomeness, and deportment that it is difficult to describe in a column that civilized people read.
Because we had earlier developed these rabbits to be intelligent and resourceful, the combining of the wolf genetic material with our enhanced rabbit material caused the resulting creature to be super-intelligent, as in really smart, smart like a 16-year-old and someone who had been married and divorced multiple times melded together, if you can even imagine that combination. I can, but only slightly.
Because we’re in the realm of difficult to believe anyway, it won’t surprise you to learn that when one of our interns accidentally left a copy of Watership Down lying out amongst the rocks where any super-intelligent, genetically enhanced rabbit could find it, well, that tore it. It wasn’t long before the ideas in that pivotal novel spread through the Lapin world like a rabbit with herpes. In days they were all infected. A new order sprang up that paralleled all the best and worst traits brought out in the novel and we soon had warrens set up all along the perimeter of The institute. Shortly after, all of the members of our roving pack of specially developed and trained guard dogs were gone. Killed and consumed by this new breed of guard rabbit. You have to remember, these were dogs so ferocious the meanest most savage rhino in our menagerie would run and hide if it even saw one of their tracks. These are bad rabbits.
General Woundwort, the diabolical leader of the most savage of the rabbit colonies in the novel, soon became one of the most revered heroes of this new breed of rabbit, and Captain Hornwort, who chose his name to emulate his hero, ‘wort’ being the synonym of bad in rabbit language, became the most feared leader in the rabbit community here on The Institute grounds. Even the people instrumental in the development of this new rabbit can barely control him. If we didn’t have an absolute lock on the raising and cultivation of the carrot crop, I would be worried for the safety of our staff.
For a long time that was the only hold we had on these new dangerous rabbits, but then, as always happens in circumstances like this, one of The Institutes clever geneticists was doing some remedial study on Wikipedia and found the one thing that gives us the protection we need from these dangerous beasts. It was Clover. Yeah, just like in the book and movie, War of the Worlds, where we humans would have been toast during the invasion of the Martians if it hadn’t been for the microorganisms, all the bacteria and cancers and tumors that human beings have learned to conquer over thousands of years and it killed off those ravaging, pillaging Martians, saving the day, and also the rest of those people who were still alive.
Ho-ly Mackerel…. Clover. According to Wikipedia and now a fact endorsed by our own tame geneticists, it seems that clover gives rabbits gas, and rabbits have no way to get rid of gas, so if they eat it they swell up and explode and that’s that. Amazing, right? Soon all of our folks who worked the outlying areas of the Institutes vast holdings were wearing clover headbands, clover socks, clover rain slickers and such and we were safe. No one forgets their cloverware. At least not more than once. Sure in the beginning we lost a few interns due to the rabbits not having read this fact on Wikipedia but before long you could hear small muffled explosions echoing through the valley and see blossoming clouds of rabbit fur, and soon because the rabbits were so smart, we didn’t lose any more interns. At least those that wore their clover. No clover, you got eaten. Wear clover, you didn’t. It raised the level of intelligence enormously on both sides by removing the weak links from the gene pool. Win-win for all.
Because we feel like we have a handle on the raising and training of this new breed of guard animal and we hold the patent on their genetic development we’re ready to begin selling this service to other institution’s that have a need for exceptional levels of security. If this is you or you’re friends with an institution, or are planning to start one soon, please contact us for more information.
Kindly address all inquiries to:
Department of Genetic Modification / Badass rabbits
(We accept PayPal, Cashier’s checks, stamps and money orders. Government P.O.’s considered with acceptable credit)
The Director will be in touch as soon as it’s safe to move around the Institute’s campus.