The Classic Bowline

The rabbit comes out of its hole, goes around the stump, and crawls back into its hole.

The Practice Bowline

The rabbit comes out of its hole, goes around the stump, then slows to a stop. Hmm, it thinks, which one of these here is the hole? They look awfully similar … The rabbit’s father looks on disapprovingly over his shoulder, points. The rabbit, a little sheepishly, crawls back into its hole.

The Vanishing Bowline

The rabbit comes out of its hole, goes around the stump, and crawls back into its hole. Aha, says the rabbit, that wasn’t so tough. But when the rabbit reaches the bottom, the stump and the hole disappear, leaving the rabbit sitting there alone like a true jackass. Apparently, that wasn’t the hole. Damn it. The rabbit checks to see if Dad saw.

The One-Handed Bowline

You’re joking, right?

The Urgent Bowline

The rabbit comes out of its hole and, while it’s circling the stump, a 4-foot swell crashes into the bow. The rabbit pulls itself up and leaves the hole again, but now it’s rattled. Hours practicing on that piece of wood with two ropes last night while Dad was in the bar hitting on that tollbooth operator and still the rabbit freezes up when the pressure’s on. It’s like Little League all over again. The yelling doesn’t help, either. The rabbit sees the rocks, and, I assure you, the rabbit’s trying to take its head out of its ass. You know what? I’ll just hold it. Yeah. In my hands. For the rest of the trip. Whatever. The rabbit’s plenty mature. You’re just pissed you’ll have to mix your own drinks.

The Practical Bowline

The rabbit, hands raw from holding the jib sheet for what seemed like hours, considers this a perfectly fine knot. It’s strong, easily recognizable, and it’s a hell of a lot easier to tie. No stumps, no holes. As simple as tying your shoes. Admittedly, it’s not the hallowed bowline, God’s gift to rope fastenings, but too effin’ bad. Ask the rabbit if he cares that it’s harder to untie when under a load. Go ahead, ask him. God forbid you use your knife for something other than cutting limes. The rabbit’ll be in the cabin if you need him.

The Final Bowline

Here’s the thing about the rabbit. He doesn’t care if you consider him seaworthy. He’s only here because Mom said you’re becoming unglued and that if I remember all the irresponsible stuff you do we can get the judge to change the custody arrangement. There. It’s tied to the dock. Yeah. I guess I finally did one. The rabbit still says it’s a stupid knot. If you don’t like it, you can talk to his friend, the bird.