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by Abigail Van Buren

Hare Raising Tale Is Too Good to Be True

DEAR ABBY: Last year, my husband's pet rabbit, "Blossom," died. My husband -- I'll call him "Edwin" -- went into the back yard to feed Blossom one morning and found her lying dead in her cage. He gave Blossom a little funeral and buried her in our yard.

Later that day, our neighbor's dog dug up the rabbit. When the neighbor came home for lunch, he found the little body on his doorstep. Thinking his dog had killed Blossom, he panicked. He ran out, bought another rabbit that looked just like Blossom, and placed her in our cage.

When Edwin returned from work that night, he was stunned to find the rabbit sitting in its cage munching a carrot. He rushed over to Blossom's grave and, of course, found it empty. Edwin immediately concluded that a miracle had occurred -- Blossom had returned from the dead.

Ever since, my husband has treated the rabbit like a little deity. He built an altar for her and puts flowers on it every day. He sits in front of her cage in the lotus position and talks to her. When I come around, he stops talking until I leave.

The neighbors have since moved, but last week I ran into the wife and she told me the story I have related to you. Thinking it might help Edwin, I repeated the story to him. He became irate and accused me of trying to ruin the only miraculous thing that had ever happened to him. (His mother had a spider that danced to Chopin etudes, so wackiness runs in the family.)

Should I insist that Edwin seek counseling, or should I continue to live with this? I really don't know where it will end. -- AT MY WIT'S END

DEAR WIT'S END: You may not, but I do. It's going to end here and now. According to snopes.com, your rabbit tale is an urban legend, and so old it has whiskers. In January 1989, Johnny Carson (that king of wit!) related it as an event that had happened to a neighbor. In June 2000, a guest told it to Jay Leno. In July 2000, William Shatner repeated the story, claiming it had happened to his co-author. It turned up again in 2001 on the Chris Isaak show. Thank you for sharing it with me. It's still a thigh-slapper.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I disagree about where to park when you visit someone. He says you park on the street, always. I say that if I am visiting someone, I should park in their driveway. He says that is rude. Who is correct? -- GINNY IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR GINNY: Since you and your husband can't agree, call the person you are about to visit and ask where it's most convenient for you to park. That way you will avoid an argument and inconvenience no one.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married 3 1/2 years, and during that time I have begged him to stop playing "telephone games" with me when he calls me -- especially at work. He will either disguise his voice, or speak to me so low that I can't understand him. Every time I answer with the standard "Hello," he'll respond with "Hello," and this goes on for a few seconds back and forth. It drives me crazy.

How can I get through to him, loud and clear, once and for all, that this irritates me no end? -- TIRED OF PLAYING GAMES IN FORT WORTH

DEAR TIRED: One effective way to send a message is through silence. If the caller does not respond properly after the first "hello," hang up the phone.

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