The Mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky

Posted on December 17, 2020


This story was shared with me by a friend of mine, James Wiseman of the Order of St. Benedict, and presently the Abbot of St. Anselm’s Abbey in Washington, D.C.  I publish it with his permission, and I translated it from Spanish. The story is used in Spanish-language training.

The township of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky has elected their new mayor, a bulldog named Francis Wilbur. He will be mayor for the next four years and will the principal authority in the small community of Rabbit Hash, 500 inhabitants.

Wilbur succeeds Brynn, a pit bull who was mayorese since 2016. Wilbur’s owner loves dogs and decided to present one of her dogs as a candidate “so we can have something positive in the news.” Her six-month-old Wilbur already has his own page on Facebook where his followers grow each day. You can follow his adventures and learn more about the history of Rabbit Hash there.

The tradition of picking an animal as mayor of Rabbit Hash began in the 1990s. Since then the event has been organized to coincide with presidential elections. The goal is to promote donations for the local historical society to preserve buildings with historical meaning.

Rabbit Hash has never had a human mayor.

I began to think this would be a good idea for any town, city, or state. Who doesn’t like a dog? Wilbur will be a beloved mayor loved by all, someone who will unite rather than divide people.

Just think, nothing he says in an interview will be disputed and no one will be angry if he sleeps during work hours. But who will govern you might ask? Oh, we don’t know that, but we need a dog as a symbolic figure of unity and love. Just think: a dog mayor, a dog governor, hey, a dog president!

Wilbur’s Facebook page has been converted into positive energy. All sorts of people send messages, and some even send gifts. Look at all the great things Wilbur has already done as Mayor of Rabbit Hash. He’s an exemplary leader. In one of his writings for example he speaks well of cats. Instead of promoting divisions, he is both creating ties and promoting diversity.

In just a few days after becoming Mayor Wilbur has become an example for all citizens. I know what some of you may be thinking. In 2024 Wilbur may run for President of the United States!

And the story ends. Wilbur fades from the scene and waits patiently for his owner to take him to the Dog Park in Sokol Park for their morning run.

Dogs, if you don’t already know this, have human-like qualities but are gifted in different ways. They are loyal to the death. They will stay with their master afflicted by circumstances—a car wreck, an ambush as they fight along with their handlers in some remote corner of Afghanistan, or just with their sick little girl mistress who is stuck in bed with something like the flu—under almost all circumstances, come thick or thin. Now, a nice T-bone steak bone might distract them momentarily, but their loyalty and faithfulness are honest and for the most part unwavering, with the T-bone exception of course.

Some wag (the human type) once observed that if you really wanted to test a dog’s loyalty, try this. Put Wilbur and your wife in the trunk of your car and leave them for an hour or so. Open it and how will Wilbur greet you? With a lick and a bark of happiness. How will your wife behave? You can answer it as easily as I can.

If caught chewing on the sofa cushion or chasing the neighborhood cat, dogs will accept the consequences of their guilty behavior.

“BAD dog,” you admonish them, and they slink off, tail between legs, accepting the consequences of their actions, even if the cat deserved to be chased.

We can go through the litany of good human qualities, adding integrity, honesty, faithfulness and so forth to loyalty. In one fashion or another, you can trust your dog. Can you do this with your neighbor? Not my literal neighbors like Matt, Bob, Josh, Dave and Robert. I know them. They are good guys. I’m talking about neighbors in the larger sense of all people you may run into in any place of the world. Can you trust them to be, let’s just take one attribute, honest with you?

Wilbur can. He may misbehave but he’s not trying to fool you or lie to you. He has your interest as well as his imbedded in his heart. In fact, Wilbur is probably a great Christian dog who loves you unconditionally and would never do anything wrong out of malice or envy or any off the other—many of them—ugly characteristics of men and women.

So, viva Mayor Wilbur. There is much to be learned from our new town mayor. Real politicians take note. Wilbur has much to teach us. The problem, or the challenge of course, is are we willing or capable of learning from our beloved Mayor who also happens to be our pet.

Published as “Maybe the government should go to the dogs” in The Tuscaloosa News, Sunday Dec 6 2020.

Tagged: ,
Posted in: Humor