Vitale and Viviana
This is a tale of two very special rabbits. Their special skills and intelligence are the side effects of being subjects in a clinical psychology experiment to test the effects of varying wavelengths of light on brain function. Researchers have found that;
“Pulsed transcranial red/near-infrared light therapy using light-emitting diodes improves cerebral blood flow and cognitive function”.
During one particular session, an inquisitive lab technician, Dexter, decided to turn the wave length intensity up to maximum. The two subject rabbits at the time would eventually become known as Vitale and Viviana. The renegade technician smuggled his two subjects out of the lab and into his home for further observation. The next morning, Dexter found the rabbit cage door open and his two subjects gone. Dexter would never see them again.
All of this occurred in the Chapel Hill area of the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina.
Most people think that rabbits are nocturnal, they’re not. They are crepuscular, meaning that they’re most active at dawn and dusk. That first night in Dexter’s home as the sunlight began to fade outside, our two laboratory subjects, although lacking an opposable thumb, reached through the cage’s bars and unhooked the latch.
Now, being armed with a high level of intellect, they needed a plan for escaping the confines of Dexter’s home.
Rabbits can scream. Our two escapees devised a simple plan. Waiting for total darkness, they hid along the wall adjacent the front door and screamed as loud as possible which drew Dexter out of bed to find the source of the noise. When Dexter opened the front door to see if the screams came from outside, our experimental subjects, soon to be known as Vitale and Viviana, were free.
Our two subjects had not eaten all day. They needed to find produce — but where? They first searched in a Southerly direction away from bright city lights. As they headed toward Pittsboro, the air began to clear and the scent of food was dominant. As they traveled along 15-501, they began to notice that the scent of produce was almost overwhelming when the largest vehicles, what we call semi’s, were close. Using deductive reasoning, they decided to follow one of them when it slowed down almost to a crawl. They watched as the Walmart delivery truck backed up for unloading. Now, the aroma of leafy greens had them intoxicated. When the humans had emptied the trailer and gone inside to do their paperwork, our two subjects feasted on broccoli, lettuce, and cabbage. They skipped the kale because even rabbits can’t chew it.
Keep in mind now that rabbits need to digest their food twice so they had to eat their droppings from their initial feast before they moved on to the next. Eventually they happened upon Scope in the personal care section.
With the humans out of sight, our two rabbits noticed a machine with a lighted screen sitting on a workbench. Being intellectually curious they noticed that all of the letters and symbols on the keyboard corresponded, in unique sequences, to the text on the screen. They began to explore further. Every reference to a human had a name, along with a wide variety of names for animals. They decided that they too should have names.
Rabbits are Italian. Brought by the Romans to Great Britain in 43 A.D., rabbits found their way to America in the early 1600’s. Vitale searched the internet for appropriate Italian names. The search took a while as they soon learned that they needed to sort empirical facts from a deluge of misinformation.
They decided that since they had just come to LIFE, intellectually speaking, he would be Vitale, and she would be Viviana — both names meaning Life in Italian.
Hiding out in the woods behind Walmart in Chatham County, NC, they prospered. With internet access every night, they were able to satisfy their thirst for knowledge. They loved to watch TV every evening in the Walmart electronics area. They danced to the music of non-stop commercials, doing a rabbit dance known as a “blinkie” expressing their joy by leaping straight up and twisting in mid-air.
With the perfect diet of fresh greens, they grew in physical stature too, eventually growing to over 4 feet tall and weighing 50 pounds.
They started a family by, once a month, producing a litter of over 12 babies. Keeping track of all of their children’s names was a challenge, but they were really smart. They ran out of Italian names a year later and switched to Polish and called the first one Vito — sticking with V’s.
One night as they roamed around inside Walmart, they wound up in the gardening area and found a row of fresh Variegated Hosta. They ate every one of them — twice! Vitale vowed to find more. Viviana was happy enough and suggested they wait for the next shipment. It never came. Vitale had to have more. He insisted and Viviana agreed to search the surrounding countryside.
They headed South following 15-501 until they detected the unmistakable aroma of Variegated Hosta. Their noses took them to Bob and Joan’s back yard, where they found 4 large Hosta’s and devoured them right down to the roots.
After an appropriate mourning period for the lost Variegated Hosta, Bob and Joan fought back by replanting four new Hosta’s and protecting them with the scent of Wolf’s urine which made both Vitale and Viviana wretch uncontrollably. They had no choice but to move on.
To this day Vitale and Viviana wander the South looking for landscaping and gardening businesses hoping to once again, taste the succulent Variegated Hosta.
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