The God of Mischief

Jeroen Steenbeeke  
Posted
There are many things to be said about names. Figuring out what name to give your child is probably one of the hardest decisions a parent has to make (though I cannot speak from experience in that regard), and they often take a long time to figure out a good one. Not all names are chosen equally well, as many a bearer of a traditional Dutch name can attest when foreigners try to pronounce it.

Sometimes names are exceptionally well chosen. A man named Victor who has a winning streak. A woman named Constance who rarely diverts from her schedule. We have one such case of a well-chosen name right at home. Our pet bunny, Loki.

Loki is a 1-year-old male Holland Lop bunny, who has a bit of a naughty streak. Normally, during the day, he's locked up in a cage with an adjacent pen so he has plenty of room to walk, but we often let him walk loose around our living room during evenings and weekends. One such trip is the reason for this post. Last week, I posted this on Twitter:



This is just one of a whole list of examples I have that prove how apt his name is. Loki, as most readers of my blog should know, is a Norse trickster God, well known for his mischief. Why we gave him this name is a bit of a long story that isn't terribly interesting, but he's got mischief down to an art.

Rabbits are well known for chewing through things, and Loki is no exception, as a quick view of my laptop's charger cable will reveal. What fewer people know is that they are pretty intelligent creatures, and Loki, in particular, is one hell of an escape artist. He's been with us for a year now, and I've lost count of how many times he managed to get out of his enclosure. His current setup remains undefeated, though not for lack of trying.

It all started when we thought his cage was a bit too small for him by itself. We took a small portable pen (designed to let rabbits play outside, but to limit where they can go) and put it next to his cage. He could leave the cage and walk around inside the pen. We figured he wouldn't be able to get out. We were wrong.

https://www.jeroensteenbeeke.nl/images/pen-old

  1. Escape 1: he pushed the pen aside and walked out. Countermeasure: block the pen with heavy boxes
  2. Escape 2: he squeezed himself between the pen wall and pushed the boxes aside. Countermeasure: heavier boxes
  3. Escape 3: he lifted the pen and walked out. Countermeasure: attach the pen to cage with metal rings
  4. Escape 4: he squeezed himself through the opening underneath the metal rings. Countermeasure: extra set of metal rings so the opening is too small
  5. Escape 5: he jumped on top of the cage, walked over, and jumped off. Countermeasure: placed the door of the pen over the door of the cage, blocking the opening.
  6. Escape 6: he squeezed himself through 5cm opening between the cage roof and the pen door. Countermeasure: extra small chicken wire in the opening.
  7. Escape 7: he jumped to the top of the pen wall, lifted himself over, and walked out. Countermeasure: a net over the top of the pen.
  8. Escape 8: he pushed the pen against the couch, lifting it slightly, and then managing to put it into a stuck position with a 5cm clearing underneath, and crawled out. Countermeasure: rearranged the pen walls so they're harder to lift.


After this, we figured the countermeasures were getting ridiculous, and we bought a new pen:

https://www.jeroensteenbeeke.nl/images/pen
(rabbit on picture not ours)

Which one of my co-workers nicknamed "Bunny Alcatraz". It's about 5 times as heavy as his old pen, and Loki is unable to lift it. It's closed on the top, but it has doors and "hatches" so we can easily let him out or pet him. He has not escaped from this setup yet.

He has, however, slipped out of the back door a few times when he was walking around freely, and he loves our garden. Something tells me this won't be his last adventure.

https://www.jeroensteenbeeke.nl/images/loki-on-couch

Want to see more of him? He has his own Instagram page.