Special Reports

Bravo Company's Great Barbarian Bunny Hunt

Life on Patrol Base Barbarian has its surreal moments, and the Great Barbarian Bunny Hunt ranked right up there with the best of them.

Soldiers at Barbarian keep a few rabbits around to feed to Mitch the eagle (an injured eagle soldiers are caring for in Kirkuk -- I'll write more about him another day).

The bunnies are kept in a floorless plywood box that's on uneven ground. That allowed the rabbits to burrow out from underneath thebox.

Being tame rabbits set loose in a grass patch, they didn't wander far.

So Staff Sgt. Steven Kingan, Sgt. 1st Class Ron Oldham, Cpl. David Gehrig and Staff Sgt. Brad Carr spent one evening trying to round them up.

The rabbits hid under an interpreter's car. One soldier got down on the ground and bellied under the car to flush the bunnies out.

The rabbits ran into the tall grass and stopped. The guys spread out and surrounded each one and closed in. They shined flashlights inthe animals' eyes to blind them. But as soon as they got within a few feet of a rabbit, it would scamper and the men would light out in hot pursuit.

After easily outrunning the guys, the rabbit would stop in the grass and the process started over. The men managed to grab one bunny, but it kicked and squirmed and the guy (I don't remember which one) dropped it.

This went on for about 30 minutes, shining, shouting and chasing. Eventually all three bunnies took refuge in an iron briar patch of scrap metal.

The final score: Bunnies 3, Bravo Company 0

— Roger Phillips

In post-Saddam Iraq, technology is growing ever-more popular.

Cell phones and satellite TV dishes are nearly ubiquitous.

Both were mostly banned under Saddam Hussein, and now the pent-up demand for them has hit like a tidal wave.

It's not uncommon to see satellite dishes on top of mud houses and tents.

— Roger Phillips