Told from the perspective of marsupial creatures, The Rabbits opens with a collective "we" narrator describing how the rabbits arrived in the marsupials' country many generations earlier. The rabbits, who likely represent the British colonial settlers who entered Australia in the late 1700s, appear friendly and curious at first. However, marsupial elders warn of the danger of letting in newcomers, predicting that the rabbits will only know and respect the ways of their own homeland.
Over time, the rabbits invade the marsupials' country, building houses, destroying plants and habitats, polluting the air and water, scaring away native animals, making the marsupials sick, and sending the marsupials’ children away.
The marsupials resist the rabbits' efforts to displace their culture, but the marsupials' attempts to fight back in battle are thwarted by the rabbits, who outnumber the marsupials and have access to more deadly technology.
At the end of the story, the once-lush and diverse natural landscape has been turned into a congested, polluted city with wasteland beyond its walls. The collective marsupial narrator reflects upon the damage that has been inflicted on the marsupials' land, and questions who will save them from the invading rabbits.