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[Peter's alter ego, "Sgt. Peter d'Tripús, 3rd Scout Plat/Long Patrol/Salamandastron"]
"Long Patrol Chant"
O vermin if you dare, come and visit us someday,
Bring all your friends and weapons with you too.
You'll find a good warm welcome, let no beast living say,
That cold steel was never good enough for you.
You won't find poor helpless beasts all undefended,
Like the old ones, babes, and mothers that you've slain,
And you'll find that when your pleasant visit's ended,
You'll never ever leave our shores again.
All you cowards of [land and *air,] and you flotsam of the sea,
Who murder, pillage, loot whene'er you please,
There's a Long Patrol a waitin', we'll greet you cheerfully,
you'll hear us cry 'Eulalia' on the breeze.
'Tis a welcome to the bullies who slay without a care,
All those good and peaceful creatures who can't fight,
But perilous and dangerous the beast they call the hare,
Who stands for nought but honor and the right.
Eulilia! Eulilia! Come and bring your vermin horde,
The Long Patrol awaits you, led by a Badger Lord!"
- "The Long Patrol" by Brian Jacques
Copyright © 1997 Redwall Abbey Company Ltd.
*This is my passive personal protest of the violent "games" feature of Inertia Games' radio control aircraft flight simulator "R/C Simulator", marketed by RipMax Hobbies in the U.K. and by Hobbico in the U.S.:
"Test pilot" article, Model Flyer Magazine, July 2001
RCSimulator - Reviewed by Ken Bones and Lee Jones
[p.3] "So there I was in sunny warm USA with a light breeze straight down the runway and my Kyosho P51 ready and waiting. Open the throttle correct the swing with some right rudder lift off the tarmac runway and raise the retracts. After getting the feel of the model I then hit the F7 button on the keyboard and follow the P51 around the sky air to air. Then I can see a big green rabbit lurking behind a farm building so on goes full throttle into a dive at the bunny with machine guns blazing - BANG!! - loads of exploding green goo and up and over into a victory roll (plus a disapproving slap from animal-loving Eve [author's wife]) then back to base."
Yes, this is Peter, our Easter Bunny. On Easter day, in 1998, we found Peter in our front yard. When he was still there the next day, and mainly because of our wildlife-intolerant neighborhood children, we brought him in (under bunny protest) and built him a home.
Peter later fell and broke both back legs, one so severely that we had to have it removed. So now, Peter is a three-legged bun, and recovering from several surgeries need to correct problems with the original amputation surgery. You can see "Peter's Famous Sock Suit", the bun body suit that we designed to keep Peter's dressings in place, by CLICKING HERE.
This photo shows Peter's Place in it's entirety. The converted 10-gallon tank on the top left is actually our gerbil's play habitat, and Peter's Place is the small bit on the top right (third level) and the entire buffet below that. So far we've spent about $40.00 (US) converting the buffet, and expect to have spent about $50.00 (US) total when we're finished.
This is a closer view of the front of the main portion of Peter's Place.
Same view of the two lower levels, but with both doors open. The bottom 12" (30cm) of the back of the buffet is a piece of the birch AA plywood that we used throughout the buffet. The remaining open area on the back is covered with the same 1/4" (6.25mm) hardware cloth that was used on the inside of the buffet doors.
View of the left side of the lower level. The carpet on this level lifts out in one piece for cleaning, and is cut to fit around the litter box. All of the horizonal and vertical seams on this level were sealed with a small bead of 100% silicone caulking. The bits of carpet on the steps and platform are held in place by double-sided indoor/outdoor carpet tape. The hay feeder is a 2" (5cm) SCH40 45° PVC fitting with a matching male plug mounted on the side of the buffet. The "45" is only force-fitted onto the plug, just in case Peter gets to chewing on it and it needs replacement. Our experience with gerbils has taught us that chewed PVC can develop very sharp edges. You can see the front half of the 12" (30cm) platform that leads to the second level.
View of the right side of the lower level. The litter "box" is actually the bottom two thirds of a bucket that chain is commonly sold out of at our hardware stores here in the States. The opening in the front was cut to match the level of the first step to the platform. Yes, that's corn cob litter, and we're switching to something safer.
This is a view of the second level. The second level presented a unique problem. I wanted to retain the framing that use to hold the buffet drawer in place, but realized that it left very little space between the frame and the top of the buffet (about 6" [15cm].) I solved the problem by layering the floor of the second level. As you can see, it turned out just about perfect. The layers decend to the left center, where the hole leads to the platform below on the first level. I wrapped carpeting around the one edge of the hole to protect Peter from the plywood.
View of the second level from below.
This is the third, or top level, and where we expect to see Peter begin his comings and goings from Peter's Place. (We've already had one unintentional adventure already. <grin>) In this view, the hatch (or "Hobbit Door"... "Hoppity Door"?) is closed and secured by it's locking window catch. We used the same carpeting here as in the interior of Peter's Place. You can just make out the brass hook that secures the hatch when it's open. The Plexiglass "window" allows Peter to watch our gerbils at play. He seemed to like this when he was in a cage located on top of the buffet.
Same view of the third level, but with the hatch in the open position and secured by the hook.
View of the hatch, from below (look closely, and you can just make out it's outline.) You can also see the lighting units in this view. The fixtures are 12V DC automotive-style units that I've converted over to 120V AC. The two red units are so that we can see Peter's doings at night (the fixture on the lower level is removed for converting to AC, but you can see the holes where it mounts), and the white unit is for during the day. The red units' bulbs have been replaced with small neon bulbs (from two 10,000-hour night light fixtures), and the white unit now contains a 4W night light fixture (the switch was subsequently removed, and the lens rotated to place the hole that was left by the switch's removal on top.) All of the wiring is either concealed inside of the buffet side itself, or on the outside of the buffet, concealed in decorative steel wiring conduit.
Same view of the hatch, from below, but with the hatch open.
Closeup of the locking window catch that we used for securing the hatch and the doors. One added benefit to this, is that we keep the key just out of sight nearby. Visitors can't just "help themselves" to Peter's company without asking.
"One MORE picture flash, and I binky all over your face!"
(A "binky" is a happy bun's jumping for joy. <grin>)
I wrote some words for a song that I sing to Peter when we cuddle. (We're trying to find a MIDI file of the tune, if we do, we'll leave it for
downloading here at our website.)
(Sung softly to a slightly-modified Traditional English melody from the late 1600's.)
"Clover in The Dell (Dilly Dilly)"
Copyright © 1998 Mike Jackson
In the spirit of Rex Harrison's portrayal of "Doctor Dolittle", and reflecting my love for Roald Dahl's children's stories, I present my ode to misdirected childhood.
Copyright © 1998 2000 Mike Jackson
Copyright © 1999 2000 2002 Michael Jackson
All Rights Reserved
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