The Trouble With Rabbits

An essay by Rosie Fields, as provided by Sylvia Heike
Art by Leigh Legler

Day 1: Monday 9th April, 2018

My biochemistry professor, Mr Adams, has left me in charge of the lab during the Easter holiday. My job is to care for the six “New Zealand White” rabbits in the backroom, to lock the doors when I leave, and to make sure the undergraduate students working on their extra credit projects don’t turn the lab into a complete mess in his absence.

I fed the rabbits and cleaned their pens, refilled their drinking bottles and hay racks, and made sure that every rabbit was healthy. Bright eyes: check. Clean nose: check. Eating and looking well: check. Lots of droppings: double-check. I’m glad the rabbits are only used for non-invasive educational purposes such as behavioural studies and no actual testing.

An exchange student from Japan named Keiko was the only other person in the lab today. She worked quietly in the corner, peering into a microscope and mixing purple solutions into countless test tubes. When I asked her about her project, she tried to explain, but her English wasn’t very good, so I only picked up the word “amoeba” and left it at that.

If things stay as quiet all week, I’ll be able to finish a whole lot of reading for my dissertation.

The Trouble with Rabbits

The rabbit’s body started growing, swelling like a big, fuzzy balloon, and another head appeared on its side. I thought I must be hallucinating, but then the head parted further, and soon, two identical white rabbits were hopping around in my living room!


Day 2: Tuesday 10th April, 2018

Just Keiko and me in the lab again. She came to the backroom waving her lunch box, and we ate our packed lunches together. I talked and she smiled.

Everything went well with the rabbits. Boy, do they make a lot of droppings.

I organised the storage cabinet, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the unlabelled bottles, so I stashed them under the sink. Hopefully Keiko hasn’t been using them. Note: Ask Professor Adams.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2015 collection.

According to Professor Adams, Rosie Fields is currently undergoing a major identity crisis which has caused an urgent need to re-evaluate her place in society. She is expected to return to her postgraduate studies at the University of Poxford next semester in the genealogy department. Her journal was found in a shopping basket at the Buns’R’Us pet store.

Sylvia Heike lives in Finland and loves her pet rabbits even when they nibble on her books. She writes short fiction, poetry, and is working on her novel. Her work has appeared recently in Flash Fiction Magazine and is forthcoming in three anthologies: Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction 2014, Seven Deadly Sins: Pride, and Selfies from the End of the World. Check out her website at

Leigh’s professional title is “illustrator,” but that’s just a nice word for “monster-maker,” in this case. More information about them can be found at

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2 Responses to The Trouble With Rabbits

  1. Awe… This is very interesting, charming and funny. I wish it’s a longer story and has a continuation. Love the story, Sylvia. 🙂

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