Saturday, 17 August 2013

Selling the Children

Anyone in Ireland will happily tell you what to do if you want to buy or sell baby bunny rabbits - go on (or put an advert on) the advertising website "Donedeal.IE". It's like a massive Classified Ads section on line with a gazillion sellers advertising and another gazillion buying. Bound to work! Cute pictures, sensible prices, what could go wrong? Well in our case, with 12 'pet' rabbits to sell, the progeny of Ginny and Padfoot, it is not working. For the first month or so of the advert we had not a whisper. The website tells me that we had over 100 'views' but they must have all gone in, found us wanting, and gone off to hunt rabbits elsewhere.

On advice we dropped the price. On more advice, this time from Mrs Silverwood, we "bumped" the advert back up to the top of the lists (another €3 for the second 'insertion') and she also changed one of the pictures. I had photographed one of the babies held by Liz when she'd been wearing gardening gloves; Mrs S thought this might look like these were some kind of fierce bunny which was only safe to handle in gloves. Suddenly we had 2 phone calls and an enquiring e-mail. One lady was going to come over on Saturday, another chap would phone me on the Thursday to arrange a visit on the Friday. I was getting hopeful and I should have known better.

Hubbard chick at 17 days, steppin' out.
We know from experience that one of the differences between the Irish culture and the English comes out at this point - the agreeing dates and making arrangements thing. Liz tells me, tongue in cheek, that there is no word in the Irish language for "No" or "Yes", so that they would always hedge around a bit. "Will you have a cup of tea?" you ask. "Ahhh", they will say, "I'm just after having tea". Even their Referendums have to be worded carefully. You do not have a 'No' camp and a 'Yes' camp. The question has to be phrased so that the answer is "I do not agree with this proposition" (or you do agree).

Combine this with the natural politeness of the Irish; they do not want to offend you by saying they do not want your rabbits. They would rather tell you something you want to hear, than an unpalatable truth. We had this so many times with tradesmen during the house build, I should have got used to it. It should have come as no surprise when the email came to nothing, the lady failed to show and the guy failed to either phone or to show. It was not looking good; we still have 12 bunnies eating our grass and slowly getting bigger, coming up on the 3 month stage where males need to be separated from females, with Goldie's babies following on behind.

Luckily we have another string to our bow. Our friend Charlotte, of mini-horses fame, is off to a Show in Swinford (Co Mayo) this weekend with some of her own baby bunnies to sell and has offered to take 4 of ours along too. Her own babies were getting a bit same-y in colour (she'd sold all the more interesting colours). It so happened that we have 4 males and 8 females, so Charlotte has taken our 4 males and thereby also solved the problem of us having to separate the sexes. Good luck selling those tomorrow, Charlotte! When she runs out, she will also pass our phone number on to any customers who show up with un-met demand.

Maybe we will 'clear' some of these bunnies after all. Liz is rather wickedly joking that any kids who now come to view, she will straight out and tell them that any unsold bunnies are headed for the freezer, so that the children bully their Dad into 'rescuing' them from this evil woman. I'm not sure that is allowed in rabbit selling ethics, but it might just work.

The pics on this blog have just been some I have taken today of the fast growing Hubbard chickens (now 17 days old) and of the garden, some nice hollyhocks imported as seed from Faversham in Kent when we moved, the forest of marigolds which I had only intended as companion plants to the raspberries and a prospective pumpkin for the Silverwoods. Here now is a first white waterlily in the big pond. Its sister plant has also produced a flower, so we hope the flying insects will buzz between the two and fertilize each. The pond is still crystal clear and we are enjoying it immensely.

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