Meandering Monday about Garlic, Bunnicula, and the Pressure

We have a lot of rabbits in our neighborhood. Years ago, I learned that one way to keep rabbits from eating your plants is to sprinkle garlic powder on them. It seems to work. I’ve joked that the rabbits smell the garlic and suspect that we are preparing stew, and they are too smart to stick around and be an ingredient.

A dangerous way to hold a rabbit, considering...

A risky way to hold a rabbit, considering…  Photo by cottonbro on

Another joke was that rabbits are like vampires, and so garlic keeps them at bay. I wondered for years if the garlic repellent trick was part of what inspired James Howe to write Bunnicula, but never bothered to find out until recently.

It turns out that it had nothing to do with it. I came across an interview where James Howe said he thought a rabbit would be a most unlikely vampire. I’m not sure I buy that notion. It comes across as a sort of politically correct statement under pressure from the Bunny Rabbit Consortium, who I’m sure have given Mr. Howe all sorts of hell for defaming rabbits.

Let’s face it – how could he NOT know how bloodthirsty rabbits can be? He supposedly came up with the idea for Bunnicula and was working on in the mid-seventies. Considering his interest in lepus, I’d be surprised if he didn’t see Watership Down when the movie hit theaters in 1978 (the year before Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery was published.) Those rabbits were definitely bloodthirsty. He must have known better.   

It probably isn’t fair to criticize Mr. Howe for succumbing to the pressure. I know how nervous it makes me when they start surrounding my house. Particularly at night. With the supply chain problems we’ve been having lately, I should probably stockpile garlic powder while I still can. Just Saying…

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Reaching Out

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

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