Saturday, December 31, 2011

11. The Wabbit lights the Fuse

The Wabbit's ears flapped slightly and the lighter flame made them into eerie shadows on the wall.  Lapinette pulled the rope taut and waited patiently. "Don't keep flicking the lighter, Wabbit," said Lapinette. "You'll use the gas up."  "I told you I should have brought a refillable one," said the Wabbit, "there's less waste and more fun." "What happened to your Zippo?" asked Lapinette. "The hinge broke," said the Wabbit. "You should have had it replaced," said Lapinette. "I returned it and they sent back the wrong one," said the Wabbit with a scowl. "Mine had Sean Connery engraved on the front and they sent me Pierce Brosnan." "Poor you," said Lapinette, "anyway, you shouldn't have played it with it so much." "Shh here they come!" said the Wabbit and he flicked the his lighter into life. They both waited for a while but nothing happened. "Do you think the Agents of Rabit understood the fake plan," said Lapinette. "Oh yes," said the Wabbit, "I heard them giggling and giggling." "Do you think they have hysteria?" asked Lapinette. "Oh yes," said the Wabbit, "and any little thing will render them apopleptic." Just then they heard a strange cackling and the Wabbit put his paw up for silence and prepared to light his Roman Candle. "Perhaps we overdid it with the inflammables," whispered  Lapinette. "Never give a sucker an even break," said the Wabbit. With uncanny accuracy he ignited the fuse in a long spurt of lighter flame. As the Roman Candle began to splutter he grinned at Lapinette. "Happy New Year!" he whispered.

Friday, December 30, 2011

10. The Wabbit lures his Enemies

The Wabbit couldn't help glancing up as Ghost Bunny deliberately dropped his fake plans for the Agents of Rabit. He did not look behind him, but in his fur he could feel them rejoicing and he could hear evil cackling as they tore across the field to grab his notebook. The Wabbit had thought for a long time about what to write to lure his enemies into a trap. After several attempts he wrote. "Higglemus, pigglemas, seven days after Sqigglemus." The Wabbit wondered if that was difficult enough but he pondered for a while and continued. "We will find ourselves in the pink on the high hill - and there behind the shuttered door, all secrets will be revealed." He then sketched a map with careful directions and made some random doodling in the shape of farmyard animals, which he then filled in with colourful crayons. But the Wabbit thought it needed something to make it complete and he had another think. Then he started to smile and he wrote. "O si vile, si ergo, Fortibus es inero! O nobile, demis trux, Vadis indem? Causem dux." "What in Pluto does that mean, Wabbit," asked Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit started chuckling and couldn't stop. "Wabbit!" shouted Ghost Bunny. "OK OK," said the Wabbit, "you just have to say it properly. It's "Oh see, Billy, see her go! Forty buses in a row! Oh, no, Billy, them is trucks. What is in them? Cows and ducks."" Ghost Bunny looked at the Wabbit and shook her head just like Lapinette. "I've been saving that one for the right moment," said the Wabbit.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

9. The Wabbit, the Statues and the Flammable Canisters

"Psst, Trixie!" whispered the Wabbit, who had finally remembered everyone's code names. "Where are you, Wabbit?" said Lapinette. "Behind the statue," said the Wabbit, "I was just talking to this fine fellow about Plato." Lapinette looked round to see the Wabbit bathed in orange floodlighting. "What does he say about Plato then?" said Lapinette. "He says Plato was before his time," said the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed and wondered if the Wabbit would ever stop talking to strange statues. "I've got the sprays!" she said and she waved two cans of fur lacquer."Are they highly flammable?" said the Wabbit. "The propellants are dangerously so," said Lapinette. The Wabbit rubbed his paws together as if he was warming them at a log fire. "I love vinyl chloride!" he chortled. "They took that out of fur spray," said Lapinette, "because it was toxic and carcinogenic. "Oh fiddlesticks," said the Wabbit with disappointment. "But I found two old canisters under the sink," said Lapinette with triumph.  "Excellent!" cried the Wabbit. "Did you get the screws, hinges and ironmongery bits?" asked Lapinette. "They're here in my fur," said the Wabbit. "I thought you were clanking a bit," said Lapinette. "Are you setting a trap?" asked the statue suddenly. "It's very hush-hush!" said the Wabbit. "I won't breathe a word," said the statue, "but would you mind setting a trap for that statue there?"  "Why?" said Lapinette and the Wabbit in unison. "He stole my parchment," said the statue.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

8. The Wabbit Undercover

The Wabbit could be heard a long way off. "Hot sauce, everything hot, get it while it's hot," he shouted. He was working undercover at the Calabrian stall in the market whilst his team gathered the materials he needed to expedite Cardinal Lapin's plan. The Wabbit tried hard to remember everyone's code names with varying success. "Have you got the battery, Klaw?" he said to Skratch. "I found this one," said Skratch. "Are you sure it's big enough?" said the Wabbit. "It was the biggest and it cost me plenty," said Skratch. "I have the string," said Snail, "and my code name today is Slither." "OK Slither, well done!" said the Wabbit, "but where's Lapinette?" "Ahem, it's Trixie Beaujolais and she's obtaining the spray canisters from the furdressers," said Skratch. "Excellent," said the Wabbit, "we will soon be ready." "What shall we do in the meantime?" said Skratch. "Eat," said Snail. "May I offer you a jar of hot Calabrian peppers?" asked the Wabbit, who was desperate to sell something. "Not for me," said Snail, "they will upset my tummy. But I will eat the cardboard tray upon which they sit." "I have some here for you, Slither," said the Wabbit and Snail set about the cardboard with gusto. "Mmm," he said, "it's rather spicy, too." "Everything from Calabria is hot," said the Wabbit. "Even the flowerpots?" asked Skratch. "Especially the flowerpots," replied the Wabbit. "May I buy a good luck charm?" asked Skratch. "Certainly, Klaw," said the Wabbit. "I'll have a corno portafortuna," said Skratch. "Potent," said the Wabbit, "I had better buy it for you." "Thanks, but why?" said Skratch. "It will double your  luck," said the Wabbit.

corno portafortuna: good luck charm to chase away the evil spirits, typical of Calabria and Naples

Monday, December 26, 2011

7. The Wabbit and Cardinal Lapin

The Wabbit was continuing to track down the Agents of Rabit when he saw a Cardinal approaching the tram stop. "Wabbit, my son," said the Cardinal, "Christmas blessings upon you!" The Wabbit tried hard to remember how to address a Cardinal and thought through a whole list before deciding. The Cardinal waited patiently with a smile because he had been through this before. "Hello Your Eminence," said the Wabbit finally. "Are you Cardinal Lapin by any chance?" "I am," said the Cardinal, "and we need stand on no ceremony when we are both fighting the forces of evil." "I am waiting on the Agents of Rabit to make their next move," said the Wabbit. "Then we must trick them," said Cardinal Lapin. "Do you have any good tricks?" said the Wabbit. "I have played a few," said the Cardinal, "mostly at doctrinal committees." "And they all work?" said the Wabbit. "No-one suspects Cardinal Lapin," smiled the Cardinal and he paused for a moment. "Do you prefer sprays, explosions or electric shocks?" he asked. "All three," said the Wabbit without hesitation. "Then we shall need some canisters, elastic bands, hinges, hooks, screws, batteries and patience," said the Cardinal. "I'll put my team on it immediately," said the Wabbit. "What is Rabit's weak point?" said the Cardinal. "They're smug," said the Wabbit. "Then they think they're wonderful," said the Cardinal, "so our task will be easier. We'll persuade them they are oh so clever." "But how?" asked the Wabbit. "We will make a secret plan for them to steal," said the Cardinal. "Then what?" asked the Wabbit. "Kaboom!" said the Cardinal.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

6. The Wabbit poses for a Photograph

The Wabbit hopped quickly around Rome on Christmas Day and he took a circuitous route to see if he could find the Agents of Rabit. But he saw no-one and speculated that even his enemies might have a day off sometimes. So he crossed the River Tiber and was taking a short cut through St Peter's Square when he heard a friendly voice. "Commander, Sir. Do come and have your photograph taken," said a Swiss Guard dressed in a most colourful uniform. "I don't mind if I do," said the Wabbit and he hopped between two soldiers and posed. "Have you seen any Agents of Rabit?" he asked. "What do they look like?" asked a Guard. "Oh you'd know them if you saw them," replied the Wabbit, "they're very dark and have long pointy ears and horrible gnashing teeth." "We do see some funny things," said a Guard. "We'll keep a look out," said the other. "And if we see them what shall we do?" asked the first Guard. "On no account approach them," said the Wabbit, "they are armed and dangerous." "So are we," said the second Guard and they all laughed heartily. "Well, have a good Christmas," said the Wabbit. "You too!" said the Guards in unison, "but where shall we send your pictures?" "Don't worry, I'll be back," said the Wabbit. "Can we be of any further assistance, Commander?" asked a Guard. "Do you still use Heckler and Koch MP5s?" asked the Wabbit. "Hardly ever at Christmas." said the Guard. "My I order one of your coats of many colours?" said the Wabbit. "You need to speak to the boss," said the Guard firmly.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

5. The Wabbit and the Agents of Rabit

The Wabbit had hopped into a corner of the Pantheon just to see what was going on and after investigation had decided that that nothing much was happening. But as he turned to leave, his ears pricked to a crumbling sound and he jumped as small stones scattered on the ground around him. As he turned to look up he could hear the sinister cackle of a sinister rabbit peering over a wall. As larger rocks rained around him, the Wabbit took off with a turn of speed that would have surprised his friends and he loped around the circular building. He was too late. He could only catch sight of the pointed tail of a dark rabbit disappearing into a maze of small streets and he cursed several times under his breath. "That was close," thought the Wabbit as he hopped rapidly in the general direction of the Piazza Navona, But he could find nothing more dangerous than a smattering of tourists buying souvenirs and multi coloured balloons. "He had to go somewhere," thought the Wabbit and he stayed in the shadows and glanced back to the Pantheon. The light had begun to fade a little but he could just see the pointed ears and rancid teeth of an Agent of Rabit who had expertly regained his original position. The Agent waved but before the Wabbit could reach him, he somehow vanished, leaving only a cackling sound of derision. "He who laughs last, has the laughiest laugh, or something like that," muttered the Wabbit and he took a small piece of Pantheon brickwork, placed it carefully in a plastic bag which he kept in his fur and called out loud, "There are no hoppy endings for the "Agents of Rabit!"

Friday, December 23, 2011

4. The Wabbit directs the Traffic

The Wabbit waited patiently at a junction on the Via Gregorio VII until Franco and Snail hove into sight. Then, taking over the intersection as if he was a policeman, he waved them all through. “Look the other way, you’re not in Cornwall now!” he yelled to Snail’s driver and his mate, the two Cornish pilgrims. “Thanks Luvver, are we here?” said the driver as the truck lurched to a stop. “Yes, you can park in the Big Coach Park,” said the Wabbit and turned to Franco. “But what happened, Franco?  What held you up?” “I had to replace the spark plugs and set the points,” said Franco. “Yes,” said Snail, “and we had time for a lovely snack at a roadside cafe.” “On a cardboard tray?” asked the Wabbit. “I had two!” said Snail and he wiggled his antennae. “Anywhere to get fags around here?” asked the driver’s mate. “At the tobacconist across the road,” said the Wabbit, “and you can also get a lottery ticket and scale models of planes and helicopters, which are better for your health.” “l’ll bear it in mind my lovely," said the driver’s mate and he jumped out. The Wabbit watched him leap around, dodging the traffic, and he flinched as a bus narrowly missed him. “Buses have right of way in the middle lane,” he shouted and covered his eyes.  “Where’s our camp?” asked Franco. “Over there by the ecological car wash,” said the Wabbit. “How can it be ecological?” said Franco. “No water,” said the Wabbit. “I can’t believe that, Sir,” said Franco, forgetting to address the Wabbit informally. “Neither does anyone else, I’ve never seen a soul use it,” said the Wabbit.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

3. The Wabbit meets his friends in a Jiffy

The friends gathered at San Pietro Railway Station to meet Puma, as Thunder the Steam Train arrived. Lapinette was so excited she hopped quickly across the rails to greet everyone. “Welcome to Rome,” she cried, and stretched out her paws. “Somehow, Robot and I managed to arrive at the same time,” said Skratch the Cat Burglar with glee. “My train journey was most entertaining,” said Puma, “We raised several hundred euro for children with special needs.” Lapinette clapped her paws in delight and noticed that Robot was also eager to recount their adventures. “Skratch drove me past the Roma FC football stadium,” said Robot to Lapinette with enthusiasm. “I saw the most famous Francesco Totti arriving and he waved to me!” By this time the Wabbit was beginning to feel quite left out. “Hello,” he shouted from across the track. “Are you all feeling hungry?” “Quite peckish,” said Skratch. “Now that reminds me,” said the Wabbit, “where’s Snail and Franco?” “Snail’s  hitch hiking lift broke down and Franco stopped to help them make running repairs,” said Skratch, “they’ll be along in a jiffy.” “What is a jiffy?” asked the Wabbit, “I thought it was some kind of mail bag." “These days it means ‘in a very short time’ and is a unit of measurement in quantum physics,” pronounced Skratch, “but it used to be the word for lightning in the ancient language of thieves.”  Skratch grinned and loped up the platform to hug the Wabbit, who then looked rather embarrassed. “But what of our enemies, the hated Agents of Rabit?” asked Puma. “Oh, I’m sure they’ll be here in a jiffy,” said the Wabbit.

Jiffy: A jiffy is, is defined by Edward R. Harrison, as the time it takes for light to travel one Fermi, which is the size of a nucleon. One Fermi is 10−15 m, so a jiffy is about 3 × 10−24 seconds.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2. The Wabbit arrives in Style

Ghost Bunny made sure that the dreaded Agents of Rabit were long lost in the clouds above Turin and quickly guided Turbina the Jet Car into Rome. “I’m looking forward to being undercover,” said the Wabbit. “I got you a series of posts at various stalls in the City,” replied Lapinette. “But I wanted to be a news vendor,” said the Wabbit. “And so you shall,” said Lapinette, “but through my various contacts, I have arranged a short period where you will sell good luck charms.” “Oh lovely,” said the Wabbit, “and what shall I wear?” “Just your normal coat,” said Lapinette. “Then what am I taking for luck?” said the Wabbit. “Me,” said Lapinette. Turbina the Jet Car hooted his horn and his after burn left a long vapour trail in the cold air. The Wabbit smiled and nodded his head. “I am still uncertain what the mission exactly entails,” he said. “The less you know the better,” said Lapinette, “so keep your ears keen,  your eyes open and get ready to hop when the time is right. “Is it about organised crime?” said the Wabbit. “All crime is organised,” said Lapinette. “Is it about injustice and exclusion then?” asked the Wabbit.” “Everything is,” said Lapinette. “Recovering a lost object?” asked the Wabbit. “We are all lost and found,” said Lapinette. “Uncovering a dastardly plot against us wabbits,” said the Wabbit. “I’m not saying,” said Lapinette. “Then that’s it,” said the Wabbit and he thought for a while. “So what are you taking for luck?” he asked. “A Beretta 93R machine pistol,” said Lapinette.

Monday, December 19, 2011

1. The Wabbit and the Forgotten List

Lovely Lapinette looked at the Wabbit across Turbina the Jet Car and the Wabbit looked back at Lapinette. "Are you ready?" asked Lapinette. "I am," said the Wabbit. "Have you got everything?" said Lapinette. "I have," said the Wabbit. "Are you sure?" asked Lapinette. "Not any more," said the Wabbit. "Where's your list?" asked Lapinette. "In my other coat," moaned the Wabbit, looking sheepish. "Well, I do have a copy," said Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned. "You always have a copy!" he cheered. "Don't rely on it," said Lapinette. "Anyway, where's your salad sandwich in case you get hungry?" "In the salad crisper," said the Wabbit. "Turbina doesn't have salad crisper," said Lapinette. "I do now," said Turbina in a complaining voice. "I've never known anything get crisp in a salad crisper," said Lapinette. "It's an experiment," said the Wabbit. Lapinette covered her eyes with her paws and groaned. "I'm more worried about these helichoppers," said the Wabbit, "so I asked Ghost Bunny to torment them. The both looked up and caught sight of Ghost Bunny chasing a sinister black helichopper into a cloud. "The Agents of Rabit?" asked Lapinette." They're getting in my hair," said the Wabbit. "Think we can shake them off?" said Lapinette. "At least we know where they are," said the Wabbit. "Behind the clouds?" said Lapinette. "I'll get Ghost Bunny to keep track of them and when we get to Rome, we'll lure them into a trap." said the Wabbit. "I'll have had a word with Cardinal Lapin," said Lapinette, "he's good at traps." "How good?" asked the Wabbit. "Firecrackers, duct tape and a toilet seat," said Lapinette. "I’ll put him on my list" said the Wabbit. "You forgot your list," said Lapinette. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Wabbit sends an Alert!

"The Wabbit calling Franco, do you copy?" said the Wabbit. "There's no need for that, Wabbit, it’s a telephone," replied Franco as he swerved around a barrier. "Oh really, how disappointing," said the Wabbit. "What can I do for you Wabbit?" said Franco, ducking under another barrier. "Be on the lookout for a strange helichopper," said the Wabbit. "I clocked him, he’s at three o’clock," said Franco. "Did he spot you?" asked the Wabbit. "Yes, but I lost him," said Franco, "I swerved into an underground car park the wrong way." "Where are you now?" asked the Wabbit. "Coming out of the underground car park," said Franco. "The wrong way?" said the Wabbit. "It's possible," said Franco. "Do you think it's the Agents of Rabit helichopper?" said the Wabbit. "It hovers like a ghetto bird," said Franco. "That's their style," said the Wabbit. For a while, there was silence from Franco and the Wabbit heard a series of swerving noises. "Sorry Sir, I hit some cardboard boxes," said Franco. "Pay no attention," said the Wabbit and flinched at a loud bang. "What was that Franco?" asked the Wabbit. "A news vendor stand," shouted Franco and he whooped. "Pay no attention," said the Wabbit. Suddenly, there was a piercing scream of sirens and the Wabbit asked again what was happening. "I'm in the slipstream of a fire engine," said Franco. "Excellent!" said the Wabbit.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Wabbit and SPQR

"I'm so pleased to be coming with you to Rome," said Robot as the Wabbit hopped round Skratch’s van. "You're one of us now," said the Wabbit, "of course you come with us!" "I'm going to see my favourite football team," said Robot. Everyone stared in amazement. "What team?" enquired the Wabbit with interest. "SPQR," said Robot. There was a surprised tittering but the Wabbit didn't turn a single hair. "Soccer Playing Quadruped Robots?" he asked. Now it was everyone else's turn to stare at the Wabbit, who merely grinned. "We're expecting Heart of Midlothian Football Club for a friendly match," said Robot. The Wabbit's fur stood on end. "No such thing," he stated categorically. "Will they give us a kicking?" asked Robot. "Not if you deliver to them a kicking first," said the Wabbit. "Mo' te gonfio!" shouted Robot, who then swayed from side to side, making klaxon sounds. "Wabbit, have you been tuning Robot's circuitry again?" said Lapinette sternly. The Wabbit shrugged. "Not guilty," he said and kicked the ground playfully. Everyone flinched as a stone ricocheted around the building site in a trajectory that narrowly avoided the Wabbit himself. "We're being watched," said Skratch abruptly. The Wabbit flicked his eyes to the sky. "Normal paranoia," he muttered and he had a think. "Is Franco taking the jeep?" he said to Lapinette. ""He's on his way," she said. "Can you get him on the blower?" asked the Wabbit.

Mo' te gonfio : "I'll beat you until you're swollen." A slogan of Roma FC.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Wabbit and the Big Steam Train

The Wabbit spotted Puma getting down from a Big Steam Train and he hopped up very quickly to find out what was happening. "Hello Wabbit," said Puma, "I have arranged my lift to Rome." "This train doesn't go anywhere," said the Wabbit. "You're quite mistaken," said the train. "The train is taking 500 children with special needs on a surprise trip to Rome," said Puma. "What's your name?" said the Wabbit to the train. "I am Gr 940-330," the train replied. "I'll never remember that," said the Wabbit, "do you have a nickname?" "I call her Thunder," said Puma. The Wabbit thought that was a much better name than a row of numbers and he nodded his head in agreement. "Puma, please stay in the cabin. Don't prowl the train, frightening the children," he said. "I am detailed to provide entertainment," said Puma. The Wabbit looked questioningly. "Together with the children I will look out the window and count things," said Puma. "Like telegraph poles?" asked the Wabbit. "Especially the ones with numbers, and then we will all calculate our average speed and there will be a prize," said Puma gravely. "A prize?" said the Wabbit. "A signed copy of our book on release," said Puma. "What a good idea," said the Wabbit, "and educational too." He deftly signed several imaginary copies of their book and grinned. "Thunder, will you set Puma down at the Stazione di Roma San Pietro?" he asked. "Now, that's what I call a railway station!" said Thunder.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

7. The Wabbit and the Tourists

The Wabbit looked up to see Big Blue Snail arrive in the back of a truck. "I have hitched a lift with these kind strangers, who are taking me to Rome," said Snail. "Pleased to meet you," said the Wabbit, "where did you all get together?" "The Big Blue Bullhorn was blocking the road. It was easier to put him in the back," said the driver's mate. The Wabbit knew that snails were called bullhorns in Cornwall and realising that the strangers were a long way from home, he asked them if they needed any assistance. "Thank you! That would be nice, Luvver," said the driver's mate, "it's backsyfore round here. I'm boggled." "That's because in these parts, you're emmets," said the Wabbit with a grin. The driver and his mate chortled mightily." I suppose we are at that," they laughed. "We're heading to the Vatican for the Big Christmas Blessing," said the driver. "Then you are pilgrims," smiled the Wabbit and he rummaged in his fur and gave him several business cards from the Pontiff's Restaurant. "They may even serve you Cornish Pasta," he said with a wicked grin. The drivers' mouths dropped open in astonishment." "Snail gets off at Via San Silverio Market," advised the Wabbit. "Can you point us in the right direction?" said the driver. "What don't you ask the Big Football Boy?" said the Wabbit. "He's always right," said Snail. The driver looked out of the window. "Which way to Rome?" he shouted to the Big Football Boy on the wall. "It's over there!" yelled the boy. "Exactly," said the Wabbit.
[emmets: tourists (derogatory). backsyfore: wrong way round. Cornwall dialect.]

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

6. The Wabbit and the Name

Under the watchful eyes of Franco, the Wabbit was manoeuvring the camp jeep. "Am I going to be in the book, Sir?" Franco asked with a worried face. The Wabbit pulled on the brake with a screech. "Franco of course! It's your book too." "I wasn't in so many adventures Sir," said Franco. "You are the beating heart of the Free Wabbits of Turin," said the Wabbit firmly. "And you're at the heart of our book. " Franco looked both embarrassed and pleased at the same time. "What's in the crate?" asked the Wabbit. "Some of Ghost Bunny's equipment Sir," said Franco. "She's always building something," muttered the Wabbit with a little grin. "She's very diligent Sir," said Franco. "Call me Wabbit," said the Wabbit. "I can't call you Wabbit, Sir," said Franco. "Why not?" asked the Wabbit. "Protocol Sir," said Franco. "Wabbit, Wabbit, Wabbit!" shouted the Wabbit suddenly. "Sir, Sir, Sir," replied Franco. "Wabbit," yelled the Wabbit. "Sir!" said Franco. "Silence!" shouted Ghost Bunny from behind her crate and she flew up to look at the Wabbit. "Wabbit, Franco is more comfortable with Sir," she glared. Then suddenly she swooped at Franco with a stern voice. "Franco, the Wabbit would be happier with a more informal appellation!" Ghost Bunny paused and hovered and everything became quiet. "But you could always compromise," she said finally. "What do you suggest?" said the Wabbit, smiling. "Franco, why don't you try saying Sir Wabbit?" said Ghost Bunny. Franco looked absolutely appalled. "OK, Wabbit it is," he sighed.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

5, The Wabbit and the Radio Promotion

The Wabbit was inspecting a serviceable vehicle when he noticed it was a mobile radio station. "Never miss a chance for promotion," he thought and he hopped up and called to the Disc Jockey inside. "Will you help promote our book?" he shouted. A window opened and the DJ looked out at the Wabbit. "What's the book about Wabbit?" "It features our amazing adventures!" said the Wabbit. "Is it funny?" said the DJ, who was already chuckling at the thought. "It's more than amusing." said the Wabbit. "But does it have jokes?" asked the DJ. "We are always joking and joshing," said the Wabbit, "but in an ironic way that suits our devil-may-care characters." "Sounds perfect!" smiled the DJ. He leaned towards the microphone and chortling the while, urged his listeners to watch out for the release of the book. "Can I play you a request?" tittered the DJ. The Wabbit suggested the DJ choose a song by Frank Zappa. "I don't think we have many," laughed the DJ. "Oh wait, here's one from his Sheik Yerbouti album." "No, no." said the Wabbit as his fur stood on end. "Perhaps something else," he said and, in a firm voice, he twice insisted that he had changed his mind. "Never a bother, I'll just play it," said the DJ. The Wabbit knew what the DJ was going to play and he knew it was a very, very rude song. So he gritted his teeth and hopped away as fast as he could. But he couldn't resist looking over his shoulder and he saw the DJ nodding his head and singing along. "Lapinette must never hear of this," murmured the Wabbit.
[Bobby Brown Goes Down, Sheik Yerbouti. Frank Zappa. 1979]

Saturday, December 10, 2011

4. The Wabbit and Market Research

On the advice of Puma, Lapinette was conducting market research for their book. She had just spotted the two respondents that might complete her quota, when she noticed they had noticed her too. "Who is that divine creature?" asked one lady. "I saw her on the front cover of Vogue last year," said the other. The first lady looked intently. "Oh yes, I remember she was raising funds for World Health," she said, and looked some more. "Shhh. She's coming this way," they agreed and they nodded a greeting. Lapinette gave an enormous smile. "May I ask you some questions about our book?" she said. "We'd be delighted," said the first lady. "Do you like adventures?" asked Lapinette. "As long as they're not too frightening," said the second. "Mild peril only," said Lapinette. The two ladies conferred. "What about conversations?" said the first. “There is talk throughout," said Lapinette."What about pictures?" said the second. "Both vivid and haunting," said Lapinette. By now her professional smile was wearing thin but she saw the Wabbit approaching and waved. "Oh look," she said. "Here's the author now. Let me introduce you to Commander Wabbit." "A Commander and so young!" said the first lady. The Wabbit positively beamed. "What is your posting?" said the second. "Cultural Attaché to the Department of Wabbit Affairs," said the Wabbit, coyly. "You're diplomatic!" said the ladies together. "I try so hard to be," said the Wabbit.

Friday, December 09, 2011

3. The Wabbit goes to the Publisher

The Wabbit was just emerging from the Publishing House, when he heard a yowl and turned around. "I've heard all about the book," said Skratch. "Isn't it exciting! Is that our book there?" "It's a first draft." said the Wabbit, "and I dropped off a copy with the publishers." "When will we know?" asked Skratch. "Oh I think it takes a long time. They get a lot of submissions," said the Wabbit with a frown. "Perhaps I can help," said Skratch. The Wabbit looked dubious. "I'll just sneak in and put our book at the front of the submissions queue," said Skratch. "That's not very fair," worried the Wabbit, "because others have worked hard on theirs." Skratch looked at the Wabbit as if he was a hopeless case. "Then let me suggest something else," he said. "OK. Go ahead," said the Wabbit. Skratch mimed a cat's walk in a most amusing manner. "I'll just prowl in," he laughed. "Won't they see you?" interrupted the Wabbit. "Yes, but no one minds a cat prowling around," said Skratch. "Pray continue," said the Wabbit. "I'll find the correct desk and accidentally knock down the pile of submissions with my tail," smiled Skratch. "How does that help?" asked the Wabbit. "When I am carefully replacing them, I will place our book on the top!" said Skratch with triumph. "Let me get this right," said the Wabbit. "You knock over the books and helpfully put them back." Skratch waved a paw. "And our book is at the front of the queue," he purred. "That sounds more ethical." said the Wabbit.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

2. The Wabbit and the Book Proposal

The Wabbit saw Snail approaching and he thought that perhaps his Secret Garden wasn't so secret after all. "We’re writing a book about all of us," said the Wabbit. "Lovely," said Snail and waved his antennae. "Will it have pictures of us and our conversations?" he asked gleefully. "Of course," said the Wabbit. "It wouldn’t be much of a book without pictures and conversations." " What publisher will we approach?" said Snail. "Lawrence and Wishart," said Puma immediately, as if none other would do. "First things first," said the Wabbit. "We've only just started." The Wabbit hopped up and down for quite a while and thought. "We’ll put all our adventures in and every so often, we’ll stop for dinner and make jokes," he announced. "Food, right now?" asked Snail with enthusiasm. "No, in the book, we finish an adventure and then stop and eat - in the book," said the Wabbit. "So that readers will also stop and be critical," said Puma. "What about the readers, who will they be?" asked Snail. "All sorts," said the Wabbit. "We should aim for popular appeal." Puma growled for some time and paced around a tree. "We must be more targeted and advertise in underground stations," he said. Both Snail and the Wabbit turned and looked at Puma with astonishment. "Why the Metro?" asked the Wabbit. "There's nothing to do and travellers read anything while they're waiting," said Puma. "You're in charge of marketing," said the Wabbit.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

1. The Wabbit in the Secret Garden

Puma fell into step with the Wabbit's hop and purred, "Hello Wabbit!" "I didn't know anyone else knew this place," said the Wabbit. "I often prowl these parts," said Puma and he stretched a bit. "I call this the Secret Garden and I come here to read," said the Wabbit.”I found this book in a small shop near the Corso Spezia market." Puma scrutinised the Wabbit's book. "That looks like a children's book," he exclaimed. "There's lots of information in children's books," said the Wabbit. "What information?" asked Puma. "Things they don't tell you anywhere else," said the Wabbit. The Puma thought that was very amusing and he gave a low growl of delight. "Really Puma, this is a lovely tale of an excluded robot who is befriended by a small boy," said the Wabbit seriously. "Ha! It's about relationships," said Puma. The Wabbit struck his book with a paw. "We remain largely uninformed about good relationships," he said. "Because we only talk about bad ones," replied Puma. "That's a gloomy thought," said the Wabbit. "I don't know," said Puma. "Perhaps someone will someday write a book about our relationships." He rested two paws on the steps and came close to smiling. "Oh, who could be bothered to write about us?" said the Wabbit. "We could be bothered," said Puma. "So let’s go over by the trees and write our own book." "But how shall we start?" asked the Wabbit. "Once upon a time," said Puma.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Lovely Lapinette goes to the Market

Lapinette was hopping through a market in the Corso Spezia when Ghost Bunny swooped between the stalls. "Have you seen the Wabbit?" she said breathlessly. "He's nearby. He's looking for an out of print book on Robots," said Lapinette. "I could have found it for him," said Ghost Bunny. "You know he thinks that’s no fun," said Lapinette, "and so I have to hop endlessly through markets while he rummages." "He does find things," said Ghost Bunny, who loved the Wabbit. "Yes, and he keeps them all in his fur. Never go through airport security with the Wabbit," sighed Lapinette. "We'll be travelling soon ourselves," said Ghost Bunny with glee. "Yes, I wanted to talk with you about our Rome trip," said Lapinette. "Special duties?" asked Ghost Bunny. "Yes," said Lapinette. "Just between us?" said Ghost Bunny. "Only between us," said Lapinette. "Oooooh," moaned Ghost Bunny and she hovered. "What, where, who?" she shrieked. "I want you to keep a special watch on the gang and periodically report to me," smiled Lapinette. "To keep them out of trouble?" asked Ghost Bunny in a ghostly wavering voice. "Exactly," said Lapinette. "Are you expecting any particular trouble?" said Ghost Bunny. "No, just general trouble," grinned Lapinette. "The worst kind," said Ghost Bunny. "But the most fun," laughed Lapinette.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Wabbit and the Chummery

The Wabbit took Robot to the place he now called Pluto Park. It was Ghost Bunny's favourite place to haunt and the Wabbit knew he would always find Ghost Bunny in that vicinity. "Who's your friend?" fluttered Ghost Bunny as she swooped very close to Robot. "Frighteningly yours," she moaned and came to a sudden halt. "You'll be looking after Robot for a while," said the Wabbit. "A delight to meet you Miss Phantasm," said Robot. "Ms" said Ghost Bunny. "Pardon me," said Robot. "Forgiven," said Ghost Bunny and then she spoke enquiringly. "I do like you, Robot. What is your general framework?" "Neural," said Robot. "And your memory?" asked Ghost Bunny. "Positronic," said Robot. "Ooooooh," sighed Ghost Bunny and she drew closer. "Do you by any chance have buttons?" she asked in a low voice. "Plenty, said Robot, "but they're hidden." "Don't let the Wabbit touch your buttons," whispered Ghost Bunny. "Why not?" said Robot in a hushed tone. "He does seem quite the Wabbit with circuitry." "Ah!" said Ghost Bunny. "Where the Wabbit and buttons are together, drama always ensues." "I can't hear you. What are you talking about?" asked the Wabbit. "I was just saying that Robot should come to our chummery," said Ghost Bunny. "What on earth is a chummery?" said the Wabbit. "It's a place where chums are billeted together," said Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit shook his head for a while. "And you may not push my buttons," said Robot suddenly. Ghost Bunny flinched and cowled her eyes. "You have buttons!" exclaimed the Wabbit.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Wabbit and the Two Baby Question

The Wabbit decided to take Robot for a refreshment. "What would you like?" asked the Wabbit. "A small bottle of contact lubricant," said Robot. The Wabbit was about to place an order when he heard a voice. "Hello my Wabbit!" said Lapinette. "Hello Lapinette, I thought you were having your fur done." said the Wabbit carefully. "That was yesterday," sighed Lapinette and she studied Robot closely. "Who is this, Wabbit?" she asked with interest. "It's Robot," said the Wabbit. Lapinette paused. "Wabbit, have you been taking things from museums again?" she said suspiciously. "Not at all," said the Wabbit. "Technically speaking, Robot has been liberated." "Liberated!" said Lapinette and she turned to Robot. "Piacere, bella coniglia, sono a tua disposizione," said Robot. "Were you oppressed, courteous Robot?" asked Lapinette directly. "Definitely," said Robot. "What was the nature of your oppression?" asked Lapinette. "I have a brain the size of a city yet every day I had to meet and greet and iron and clean and use a vacuum cleaner," said Robot, exhaustively. "Oh yes, I quite understand," said Lapinette quickly. "I told you," said the Wabbit. "Did you tinker with Robot's circuitry," said Lapinette firmly. "Only in the interests of freedom and justice," said the Wabbit and clenched a paw. "Hmmm," said Lapinette. "Who are these two babies?" asked Robot. "I don't know. Perhaps they're baby Buddhas," said the Wabbit and he looked behind him. "Are you baby Buddhas?" he asked. "No," said one baby. "Yes," said the other.

[Piacere, bella coniglia, sono a tua disposizione: Enchanted, beautiful rabbit, I am at your disposal.]

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Wabbit and the Meet and Greet Robot

The Wabbit was taking a short cut through the Old Converted Train Factory when he heard an electronic voice. "Hello Wabbit, Hello Wabbit," said a Robot. The Wabbit looked up at a friendly robot face. "Meet and greet. Meet and greet," said the Robot. The Wabbit smiled. "You don't have to say everything twice." "I have to, I have to," said the Robot. The Wabbit thought for a minute and then he fished in his fur for an electronic meter that he'd bought in a market. He opened a hatch in the Robot's side and prodded with the electrodes. "Now say "Quando il coniglio, senza consiglio, con la coniglia, fece famiglia."" instructed the Wabbit. "Bel coniglio, Marcus Aurelius," said the Robot. The Wabbit snickered maliciously with all of his 28 teeth and made another adjustment. "Say, "I Robot."" said the Wabbit. "That's missing a verb," said the Robot. The Wabbit grinned, snapped shut the hatch and dusted his paws. "Would you care for some part time work?" asked the Wabbit. "I can't go out," said the Robot. The Wabbit reopened the Robot's hatch and made another adjustment. Then he stood high on his hind legs and looked all around. "We're just going for a little hop around!" shouted the Wabbit. "Any objections?" he bellowed. There was a long silence. "Did you hear an objection, Robot," asked the Wabbit.”I heard zilch, let's go," said the Robot.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Wabbit and Lapinette remember Marina

"Hello you two," said Marina joyfully. "I've been keeping an eye on your adventures!" "How did you get here?" asked the Wabbit. "I've been waiting here to meet you," said Marina. "Marina, we miss you so," said Lapinette. Marina smiled at Lapinette. "I've missed you so much too," she said. "Are you staying in the Elysian Fields where only the brave and heroic rest?" asked the Wabbit, with moist eyes. "Yes. I've met all your friends," said Marina. Lapinette put out a paw and Marina took it tenderly. "Remember I'm keeping a special watch over you both," said Marina. "So don't be sad." The Wabbit and Lapinette thought that would be very hard. "Alla prossima, compagna," said the Wabbit with a tear. "Alla prossima, sorella," said Lapinette with a sob. "Alla prossima, conigli," smiled Marina, and with a shimmering of light she was suddenly gone.
[Marina passed away on this day two years ago and is greatly missed.]

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Wabbit and the St Andrew's Day Mission

It was St Andrew's Day and the Wabbit rushed to the Parliament of his homeland to make a plea for restitution on behalf of the wabbits. "Attention Members please," said the Presiding Officer. "Attention for Commander Wabbit MacWabbit of that Ilk, who will make a formal request on behalf of the Department of Wabbit Affairs." There was a discreet murmuring from the Members. "Ahem," said the Wabbit, clearing his throat. "I'll get straight to the guts of the matter." "He speaks plainly," said one Member. "I like that" said another. The Wabbit straightened his coat and began. "My species endured a great injustice owing to the illegal introduction of the Mixoma virus here in 1953 and 95% of us were killed," he said."That was under a very different Parliament," said the Presiding Officer. "We haven't been here long." "With the greatest of respect," said the Wabbit to all the assembly, "you were part of the Government of the day and will make due amends." "What kind of amends?" said the Presiding Officer. "You will provide medicine to wipe out the virus in your land." said the Wabbit. He stared around at all the faces and spoke again. "It's my land too, and therefore I insist that measures be expedited soonest." Your proposal must pass through our Finance Committee," said the Presiding Officer. The Wabbit looked up and took from his fur a vast spiral-bound dossier full of facts and figures and names and dates. He then ruffled its many pages so much that the resulting wind caused his ears to flail. "This," he said, "will speed things up."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

8. The Wabbit and his Job Description

The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped across the country bridge and the Wabbit took Lapinette's paw. "What's everyone been doing when I was away?" asked the Wabbit. He was desperate to talk about his travels, but he wanted to be polite. "You haven't been away long!" said Lapinette. "What?" said the Wabbit. "You hopped into Quantum the Time Travelling Train and hopped out again," said Lapinette "You said your mission was complete and you had carrot juice on your whiskers." "It seemed like ages," said the Wabbit and Lapinette smiled. "Well, it felt long enough to miss you," said the Wabbit and he said nothing about the carrot juice. "We got our apology from Comte Mal de Merde," said Lapinette. "He wasn't evil, but acted foolishly by releasing the virus," said the Wabbit. "Now there's the question of restitution," stated Lapinette. The Wabbit looked questioningly. "Now, governments must pay by supplying medicine to cure wabbits," she said. "That sounds like quite a mission," said the Wabbit. "Do you want it?" smiled Lapinette. The Wabbit's fur stood on end and he hopped up and down. "It's not in my job description," said the Wabbit. "Yes it is, it's at the end," said Lapinette. The Wabbit groaned and smacked a paw against his head. "Anything whatsoever, that might be needed at any time, anywhere," quoted Lapinette.

Monday, November 28, 2011

7. The Wabbit and the Galloway Stopover

Quantum, the Time Travelling Train, made a surprise stop on the way home and the Wabbit found himself at a picnic table with glass of carrot juice. "I know this place," said Wabbit in recognition. "This is Galloway in my homeland!" "Welcome home, Commander, " said Quantum. "Oh, thank you!" said the Wabbit and he sipped his carrot juice and breathed the air. "Since this is a kind of works outing," said Quantum, "I believe we are obliged to sing." The Wabbit felt overwhelmed by choice. "What can we sing, what can we sing?" he mused. "Something of the land," advised Quantum. "The Rolling Hills of the Border!" said the Wabbit. "You start," said Quantum. The Wabbit placed a paw over one ear, threw back his head and sang. "There's a certain peace of mind, Bonnie wabbits there you'll find." "Wabbits sturdy, yet so kind, Among the hills of the border," sang Quantum. They both chuckled. "How do you know the words?" asked the Wabbit. "I know most things," said Quantum. "I know your uncle is the Chief of Galloway." "Distant uncle," said the Wabbit. "Isn't that him over there?" asked Quantum. "Time to get going," said the Wabbit. Quantum was surprised. "He's very nice but he's inclined to chew my ear off," said the Wabbit. "We'll quietly vanish," said Quantum. And they did.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

6. The Wabbit takes the Scenic Route Home

“Is your mission all done and dusted?" asked Quantum, the Time Travelling Train. "It's done," said the Wabbit. "And I felt quite sorry for poor Comte Mal de Merde." "That's all in the past now!" said Quantum cheerfully. "How are your ears?" "Frazzled," said the Wabbit. "Then I must provide you with relaxing entertainment," said Quantum. "So would you prefer the quick route, Commander, or the scenic route home?" "Scenic," said the Wabbit and he settled back with a sigh. Quantum immediately vibrated and all the interior lights flickered. "Look out of the window, Commander," said Quantum, as usual. The Wabbit looked out and saw a mighty worm hole open and a caravan of shuttles pass through. "Are you ready?" asked Quantum. "Ready when you are," said the Wabbit and he gasped as Quantum darted through a hurricane of light particles. The Wabbit and Quantum seemed to whirl and twirl and spin and stretch until suddenly they emerged on the other side of the singularity. "How are your ears now?" asked Quantum. "Calm," said the Wabbit and he observed the shuttles. "But where are these other craft going?" he said. “They are trader ships, exploiting the Kuiper Belt," said Quantum. "Why don't we bump into them?" asked the Wabbit. "I have a temporal warning horn, which can alarm anything up to 1 billion light years away," replied Quantum. "I think you should speak to Ghost Bunny," smiled the Wabbit.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

5. The Wabbit and the Fate of the Comte

As the Wabbit faded from sight, Male de Merde felt the room grow icy until everything was frost and his very bones froze to the marrow. His limbs seized solid and in terror the Comte watched his life flash backwards before his eyes. And as he gazed raptly, images of his childhood loomed and he saw a toy wabbit that he had cherished. When one of his beloved toy's ears became detached he had beseeched his mother to sew it back. But neither of them could find the ear and Mal de Merde cast his toy aside. In the icy chill, Mal de Merde remembered how once he would go nowhere without it and and he began to weep uncontrollably. His tears streamed in continuous torrents and their warmth melted the icy grip on his hands. So with what strength he had left, he seized the Government medal awarded to him for ridding the country of so many wabbits. He took one last look at it because once he had been proud of his achievement. Then he smashed the medal against his desk with enormous force. He battered that medal time and time again until ice and wood splinters tore at his fingers. Suddenly, warmth returned to the room. Mal de Merde looked around and, listening carefully in the still, he thought he could just make out the sound of a train passing. He was nodding a grim farewell to the mysterious Wabbit, who had brought about these events, when he suddenly became aware of a throbbing in his hand. The Comte looked down. An image of a wabbit was indelibly etched on his palm.

Friday, November 25, 2011

4. The Wabbit and the Apology

Comte Mal de Merde was studying in his study when he glanced up to see the Wabbit pointing at him. "You!" said Mal de Merde and drew back against his cabinets. "No one expects the Wabbit," said the Wabbit, irritably. "I saw you in a dream," said Mal de Merde. The Wabbit bared his teeth. "I am beyond your nightmares," said the Wabbit in a matter of fact voice that chilled the Comte's soul. "How did you get here?" gasped Mal de Merde. "I came by train," said the Wabbit. A silence fell. "What do you want?" asked the shaking biologist. "An apology," said the Wabbit. "What for?" said Mal de Merde, although he already knew. "You unleashed a biological weapon of mass destruction upon my species!" said the Wabbit and he hopped forward. "You ate a lot," said Mal de Merde and he shrank back. "You ate us," shouted the Wabbit. "And you killed nine out of ten. It kills us still." The Comte shivered and his skin felt clammy. He began to wring his hands and bent his head. "I'm sorry,” he said. "Make it personal,” suggested the Wabbit. "I beg the forgiveness of all the wabbits" said the Comte and he looked hopefully at the Wabbit. But the Wabbit kept pointing. "What more do you ask of me?" said the Comte. "That you forgive yourself," said the Wabbit and he smiled and raised a paw in farewell as he began to disappear. Mal de Merde watched the image of the Wabbit grow dim and he felt the room grow icy cold ... [to be continued]

Thursday, November 24, 2011

3. The Wabbit takes a Quantum Leap

The Wabbit pressed Quantum’s big red button and quietly said "Engage!" Quantum, the Time Travelling Train, started to vibrate, which chattered the Wabbit’s teeth wildly. "Let’s rrrroll roll out out, Quantumumum. Nice nand neasy," he stuttered. "Look out of the window, Commander," said Quantum. There was a sudden flash. Everything outside grew very small and vanished, only to be replaced by a canopy of stars. The Wabbit looked down in wonder at complicated strands that that wove a lattice under the planet. "France, 1956," stated the Wabbit. "I’m a train, Commander, not a taxi," said Quantum. “Sorry,” said the Wabbit, although his eyes were twinkling. "These were turbulent times for that little old France there," said Quantum, in the chatty manner of a taxi driver. "Good," said the Wabbit. "The unfortunate Comte Mal de Merde will be distracted." "Will you challenge his hegemony?" asked Quantum. The Wabbit saw Quantum’s control panel smile so he consulted a dictionary of political thought that he kept in his fur. "He will hold onto power no longer," said the Wabbit, sagely. "He won’t be expecting you," said Quantum. The Wabbit gazed at all the buttons on Quantum’s control panel and clapped his paws in delight. "No-one expects the Wabbit," he grinned.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2. The Wabbit and the Quantum Train

The Wabbit hopped up to the cabin of Quantum, the Time Travelling Train. "Are you sure this works?" he asked Lapinette. Lapinette looked at Quantum and looked back to the Wabbit. "Quantum works precisely," she said gravely. "I don't want this mission," said the Wabbit and he stamped a foot. "You don't get to pick and choose," said Lapinette. "They should send someone else," said the Wabbit. "Why?" asked Lapinette. "I'll lose my temper," snapped the Wabbit. "And your ears will flail," said Lapinette, automatically. "And knock things over," said the Wabbit. Lapinette smiled. "What kind of things?" she asked. "Valuable ornaments," said the Wabbit, grumpily. "Is it productive to go back in time to demand an apology for something that happened in 1952?" he said lengthily, drumming his paws on the side of the train. "It's part of peace and reconciliation," said Lapinette. "I will never be reconciled to the man who unleashed the Great Plague on our species," said the Wabbit and he kicked the door. "Your ears are flailing," said Lapinette. "I told you they would," said the Wabbit, "and I'm not the Wabbit for the job." "Comte Mal de Merde's temporal co-ordinates have been precisely mapped by Quantum," said Lapinette, calmly. The Wabbit scowled. "You can push the big red button," said Lapinette. The Wabbit brightened immediately. "Maybe it won't be so bad," he said with a grin.