‘Flappie’, the song about a Christmas rabbit written and sung by Dutch comedian Youp van ‘t Hek, a celebrity who has coined many catch phrases, has recently been covered by major American music figure Todd Rundgren who apparently likes to cover ‘obscure’ songs.
‘Flappie’, has become ‘Floppy’, which is a great name for a rabbit in English. I have not been able to find out the translator is as they’ve done a fine job, even according to Van ‘t Hek. Rundgren, who has performed in the Netherlands countless times according to music magazine Oor, is said to have made his version more dramatic than the original. One online criticism was that the new song was musically too busy, but I think it matches the story.
All I want is to know who the translator is to admire their work since translators are too often ignored.
Here’s the English version by Todd Rundgren:
Here’s a nice live version of original Dutch by Youp van ‘t Hek:
The company responsible for the Dutch rails, ProRail has got the green light to try and do something about the rabbit overpopulation at Amsterdam Sloterdijk station. Some of the rails resting on hills are slowly sinking due to the amount of rabbit holes dug by busy bunnies. The goal is to chase the rabbits out of their holes with ferrets and funny smelling products then plug the holes up.
I travel to Sloterdijk station several times a week by bus, and the sight of the cute brown and black little bunnies always cheers me up. I used to say to myself, if I saw three bunnies, it would bring good luck. Now I see at least 10-12 each time, which means it has to be a rabbit plague by now or I am the luckiest person in the world.
Back in 1999, I worked at a company near Sloterdijk station and could see the odd bunny hoping along a bike path, but I have seen the difference and the rabbits have clearly taken over the station area. I pointed out the rabbits once to a friend who said, “but that’s food!’, as in yes, we could hunt them and open up a wild game restaurant and feed lots of people.
I don’t think these gentle tactics are going to work, as rabbits are solid breeders. They really are cute, though, and I would say close to becoming an urban attraction.
First, it was cats and dogs, and now it’s rabbits. Insurance, that is. You can now get health insurance for your bunnies. The Petplan company is claming that as of today it is the first insurance company in the Netherlands to offer health insurance for rabbits.
According to the insuror, rabbits are increasingly popular as pets. In the Netherlands there are about 750,000 of them hopping around. To many families, bunnies are just as important as dogs or cats. They also make their way around the house and are house trained. (And they are really quiet!)
The insurance market for pets is growing by 10 to 20% a year. Out of the almost 6 million dogs, cats and rabbits, only about 2% are insured.
Recently completed, Villa Peet is described as an experience in contrasts. These contrasts create a sensation of entering into new worlds through a series of “rabbit holes”. The lack of doors inside gives the ground floor a sensation of continuity in order to keep the spaces clearly defined.
If you look around carefully, Lelystad, capital of the province of Flevoland, is one big garden of architectural experiments. As a big polder established as recently as 1967 (the last Dutch province), it has room galore to let architects, like these cute bunnies, roam free.
In issue 81 of Zone 5300 one Eric van der Heijden is giving Maaike Hartjes a run for her money with his own brand of tiny comics, although his intellectual absurdities remind me most of online comic XKCD. A hunter walks up to a giant rabbit, wraps his arm around its shoulders, and tells it with a big grin: “There are too many rabbits here. That’s all I am saying. Draw your own conclusions.”
There’s a four pager by Floris de Smedt where Mr. Bunny (see image above) escapes from his prison and exacts a terrible revenge from Brussels. Luckily Mr. Bunny is no match for The Professor, who has a brilliant brain and ready access to dragon eggs. No bunny can resist eggs!
Illustration by Eric van der Heijden: “Does this make you feel more of a man? Does this make you forget for a fleeting moment that your wiener is tiny?”
Toen ik klein was (When I was young) is a translation of a comic by Mr. Stocca (Milan Pavlovic) about a boy/bunny who has a crush on his school teacher, and then she dies. I love the atmospheric drawings (see below)!
Also: voyeuristic drawings of young women by Barend van Hoek, a look at artificial creatures, and the regulars (Hibou, Cowboy John, Fool’s Gold, et cetera).
The garden of sauna RidderRode in Santpoort-Zuid, North Holland is being overrun by rabbits. These rabbits are the ones people dump when they go on vacation or the ones children get bored of. The problem is now so bad that sauna visitors cannot just chill in the garden without fighting them off.
It all sounds very cute, but it is not. Volunteers can contribute or help catch Flappies by visiting the Dutch site Rabbit Hutch. Many sick animals are running amok and will infect the others, which mean a whole lot of dead rabbits thanks to irresponsible humans.
Coba Beugeling who works for the animal welfare centre in Lelystad, Flevoland is planning to let children lease rabbits for a month. First, the child gets a speech on how to care for the bunny and if after a month they still get along, the child can keep it, with their parents’ permission of course. Proefkonijn (roughly ‘test rabbit’ although in English we say ‘guinea pig’) was initiated so that people don’t just release rabbits into the wild when they don’t want them any more. Guinea pigs and hamsters will soon be part of the leasing fleet as well.