Rabbits HAVE been associated with Mid-Autumn Festival for hundreds of years. If you've got bunnies on the brain this week, you will be pleased to know they make excellent pets. They are gentle, loving animals that are easy to take care of, and, because they need less space than dogs and cats, they are often the perfect pet for small flats. Their main source of food is hay; they need a constant supply of this grass. The two main types of hay for rabbits are Timothy grass hay and alfalfa hay. But whichever type you choose, make sure it's high in fibre, and low in fat and protein. You can also give rabbits small, daily portions of dried pellet food as a supplement. These are packed full of vitamins and can be fattening, so only leave out a quarter to a half cup a day. You can also give an adult rabbit small portions of fresh vegetables, such as carrots, pak choi and broccoli. Wash the vegetables thoroughly. Make sure your rabbit has clean water to drink every day by filling water containers or sipper bottles. Make sure all containers in your rabbit's cage are heavy enough to avoid tipping and spilling. Don't keep your bunny in its cage all the time. Rabbits, like all animals, need to exercise every day. But keep an eye on them when they are running around your flat, as they like to chew on cable cords and wires. Rabbits can, surprisingly, be toilet trained like cats and dogs. Most pet shops sell rabbit litter, which is usually made of shredded recycled paper or wood. Simply scoop rabbit droppings into trays filled with litter and your bunny will soon learn to follow the scent and hop in when nature calls. It is important to groom your rabbit on a regular basis. Since they shed hair easily, owners should brush their bunnies' fur once a day or at least twice a week. And to prevent from getting scratches when you pick up your rabbit, remember to cut its nails every once in a while. Rabbits are vulnerable animals, so take care when handling them. Never pick them up by their ears, as it may hurt them. To pick them up, hold the rabbit down firmly at the neck and slowly lift up its backside, then cradle the rabbit against your chest. If cared for correctly, rabbits can live up to 10 years. If you are thinking about getting a pet rabbit, adopting one from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( www.spca.org.hk ) or the Hong Kong Rabbit Society ( www.hkrabbit.org ) is best. Both organisations have rabbits that are waiting for a loving home. Rabbit of the Mid-Autumn Festival Every Chinese festival has a story behind it. One of Mid-Autumn Festival's legends is about the Jade Rabbit. One day, three deities dressed as beggars came down to Earth. They came upon a fox, a monkey and a rabbit. They asked the animals for food, and both the fox and monkey offered their food to them. The rabbit, however, had no food to give, so he sacrificed his life by throwing himself into a fire to be cooked. The deities, impressed by the rabbit's self-sacrifice, rewarded the rabbit by giving it immortality and letting it live on the moon. You can still see the Jade Rabbit on clear nights, looking down at you from the night sky.