Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Lapinette and the Wabbit paused for a minute. The Wabbit knew Lapinette would get to the all important make-up case so he sipped his aperitivo and settled back to hear the rest of the story. "My security detail was duly assigned and he was a very tall man, handsome and strong. He sat me in his truck and took the piece of gravel out of my paw with a special piece of equipment." "He did, did he?" The Wabbit was paying special attention. "Yes, he did," said Lapinette. "Then he said he would like to give me something. So he reached in his own luggage and took out the make-up case." "Just like that," said the Wabbit. "Just like that," said Lapinette. "He told me he had it specially made for his girlfriend and that she had dumped him, so he would like me to have it." "That must have been a surprise," said the Wabbit. "It certainly was," said Lapinette, "and so I told him what a silly young woman that must have been and that he could do much, much better." The Wabbit buried his face in his paws for a second. Lapinette ignored him and continued. "Then I popped the make-up case in my bag and that is where it stays." "Might come in handy," said the Wabbit. "And I have his cell phone number," added Lapinette. "So might that," said the Wabbit. Lapinette's story was over, their aperitivi were both finished and so the Wabbit called for the bill. To his surprise the waiter came immediately. "Things are looking up," thought the Wabbit.
Monday, May 30, 2011
As Lapinette went on with her story, the Wabbit could barely contain himself. "Inside the car, there was a most important couple, the President and his Lady." Lapinette paused for effect and to see if the Wabbit was listening properly. The Wabbit drew in a breath and asked "What were they like?" "They were very courteous and asked me about many things," said Lapinette. "Did you ask about wabbit exclusion? Did you? Did you?" The Wabbit nearly fell off his seat with excitement. "Yes of course," said Lapinette. "They are both very well-versed in matters of civil rights. I was told that the matter would be given due priority." The Wabbit looked down at the cafe table and and thought of his own ever-growing list of unclassifiable tasks. Then he looked back up again. "Are you listening, Wabbit?" Lapinette flicked her ears around. "Yes, yes, you mentioned due priority," said the Wabbit. Lapinette continued. "He told me he was not just a president for people but for animals too." The Wabbit smiled broadly and warmly. "What happened then?" "Well, they said that they couldn't take me all the way so they insisted on dropping me off with a special security detail to see me to my destination." Lapinette seemed to be getting to the end of her story so the Wabbit threw in a quick reminder. "And the make-up case, remember?" "Patience is a virtue," said Lapinette.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
The Wabbit was all ears as Lapinette told her story. "I was going to a very important meeting of the International Wabbit Council," said Lapinette. "And it was very hot and my fur was wilting. I took a short cut through a familiar neighbourhood, but I got a piece of gravel in my paw and I couldn't get rid of it, you know?" "Most unpleasant," said the Wabbit with feeling. "Well," continued Lapinette. "It must have been obvious that I was limping a bit, because I heard an officially official person talk into a radio. He said something about immediate assistance and then there was a lot of shouting and running around." "Oooh! What then, what then," said the Wabbit. "Patience, Wabbit," said Lapinette and continued. "The longest car that I have ever seen appeared from round the corner, and it stopped just beside me." "Longer then Turbina the Jet Car," asked the Wabbit. "Longer than this very café where I am telling this story," said Lapinette. The Wabbit's jaw dropped. Lapinette frowned. Then she leaned across and, with a practiced movement, tilted the Wabbit's jaw into a more respectable position. "I will continue," said Lapinette. "The front door of the long car opened and I was invited inside." "What next? What next?" The Wabbit was on the edge of his seat and bounced up and down. "I got in. My paw was hurting," replied Lapinette. Then the Wabbit remembered something. "What about the make-up case?" "All in due course," said Lapinette.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Lovely Lapinette was contemplating a plate of artichoke tubers when she felt the Wabbit staring at her. "Whats that?" The Wabbit nodded to the corner of the table. "My make-up case," said Lapinette in a manner that indicated it could hardly be anything else. The Wabbit knew better than to say that it didn't look like a make-up case. "Why don't you order a couple of carrot-based aperitivi and I'll tell you how it came to be in my possession," said Lapinette. The Wabbit effected disinterest and tried to attract the attention of the waiter. He wiggled his ears and wriggled his nose and he even tried clicking his paws. All to no avail whatsoever. Lapinette feigned impatience and then made her left ear tremble imperceptibly. "Due aperitivi di carote fresche for the Marchesa and her companion. Subito!" The waiter had appeared like lightning and was gone just as quickly. The Wabbit bristled. But he tried hard not to take offence since drinks speedily arrived with two small plates of carrot flakes. The pair were contemplative as they sipped their drinks and nibbled their carrot flakes. The Wabbit could wait no longer. "You were going to tell me how you came to acquire such a make-up case," he said. "You won't believe it," said Lapinette. "I will, I will, I will," said the Wabbit with urgency. Now the Wabbit was desperate to hear the story. "Once upon a time, in a distant land," began Lapinette. "Ooooh," said the Wabbit.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
The following day, the Wabbit waited for the Carabinieri. They were transporting Skratch the Cat Burglar to a place of detention and had told him they would pass by. So the Wabbit met them on the corner as arranged. But he could barely conceal his dismay at the size of the transport vehicle. The Carabinieri assured the Wabbit that this was last available vehicle in the car pool. So he nodded his head and strode up to address Skratch. "Now look here," said the Wabbit. "I know you want something and I can assure you we haven't got it. And even if we did have it, we probably fell asleep and forgot where we put it. So we don't know what or where it is and even if we found it, we certainly wouldn't give it to you." Skratch's eyes went to pin pricks behind his mask. He couldn't cope speaking directly to the Wabbit because his brain started to whirl. So he said nothing. The Wabbit turned on his paw and advanced on the Carabinieri officer who was contemplating an ice cream. "This cat is a very dangerous character indeed. He is wanted in almost every state on various charges including fraud, extortion and grand theft auto." The Wabbit wasn't very sure about the last one, but he had seen a game in a shop window and thought it sounded good. He cast a disparaging glance as the Fiat pool car left with Skratch and the officers of the Carabinieri squeezed inside. "Sergio Marchionne shall hear of this," muttered the Wabbit.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
The Wabbit had just settled down for the night when he was awakened by a terrible din. He shook himself and hopped to the window, closely followed by Lapinette. The Wabbit did not take kindly to being disturbed in the night and so he grumbled at length about the world and what it was coming to. But he knew it was no good complaining and sighed as he opened the window. At first he couldn't see what was happening. "Oh look," said Lapinette. "It's that old lady. The one you keep on and on about." "And there's her daughter," said the Wabbit. "I told you, I told you and - oh no, it's Skratch the Cat Burglar!" Lapinette smiled. "Oh yes. So it is. And he has a new outfit. Look!" The Wabbit stomped his back leg irritably. "I don't care about his coat. He's a menace. He steals things and makes eyes at you." "I know," said Lapinette. "Isn't he a silly sausage?" The Wabbit knew this conversation was going nowhere and he turned to the moonlit street. "The old lady has Skratch cornered," said the Wabbit, He could hear the sirens of the Carabinieri and he knew she must have called them. He turned to Lapinette. "Oh I do hope there's going to be no unpleasantness. We're supposed to be incognito." "Oh, really! Now thank your admirers," chided Lapinette. So the Wabbit raised a paw. He scrunched it tightly and his face broke into the most enormous 28-toothed grin. "Grazie! Do call round for biscottini," boomed the Wabbit. Skratch the Cat Burglar looked at Lapinette and shrugged. The old lady tidied her hair. Her daughter's bicycle bell made a loud ding. The Carabinieri arrived. And not one person in the neighbourhood saw a single thing.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
The Wabbit hopped back by a different route. He liked Torino's 18 kilometers of porticos and, if it rained, they kept his fur dry as he hopped. The truth to tell, he liked to go past Roma Gia' Talmone (or Talmone's place as he called it) and smell the ice cream. But now that the Wabbit had been alerted by the old lady's letter, he did feel a little uncomfortable. He knew that he was being followed and he tried to be extra alert. But it just made him hungry and so he found himself glancing at the Talmone's customers with envy. That was when he spotted the old lady with the umbrella. "Ah, there you are," said the Wabbit with relief. "I need to speak with you." The old lady put a finger to her lips and gestured to the portico ceiling. The Wabbit looked up. To his horror, he saw someone that he had taken the utmost care to avoid for some time. "Skratch the Cat Burglar, I thought you were still inside," breathed the Wabbit. And as he was thinking that thought, the old lady seized her umbrella and poked it high in the air to dislodge the Wabbit's adversary. "Take that for your trouble," she cried, poking Skratch fiercely. "And that. And that!" Skratch pulled himself further into the portico ceiling with ease. Then, with astonishing speed, he made off in the direction of a self-service restaurant called Brek, where there were rich pickings for a cat of his not inconsiderable talents. The Wabbit watched as the elderly lady sped after Skratch the Cat Burglar. For some time he could see a blue umbrella swinging above the crowds of strollers and he watched until her urgent cries of al ladro! were replaced by the shrill sirens of the Carabinieri. And then the Wabbit went home.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The Wabbit and Monty went way back. They had history and there been issues. But the Wabbit thought that perhaps bygones should be bygones. "Monty, what news?" The Wabbit spoke pleasantly. "There was a curious occurrence," said Monty, nervously. "Two ladies approached the camp asking for the wabbit in charge. They asked many questions about you." A faint memory stirred for the Wabbit. "One woman and one old lady bearing an umbrella?" "Exactly", said Monty. "I told them nothing of any importance of course." The Wabbit wondered how much of importance there was to tell but, all the same, he was curious. "They thrust this letter into my paws and quickly ran off. Perhaps you should open it," suggested Monty in a helpful manner - but mostly because he was curious too. The Wabbit opened the letter with a flick of his paw and took out a single sheet of lavender perfumed paper inscribed in copperplate handwriting. He scanned the contents and turned to Monty with a frown. "It warns the Wabbit and his good lady of a scoundrel who has been watching the secret pied-à-terre." "Not very secret then," said Monty. The Wabbit glared furiously at Monty and continued. "The letter suggests this cad is up to no good and implores the Wabbit to take the utmost care." The Wabbit shook his head. "It is signed Your Most Ardent Admirers," he said, in a puzzled fashion. "I could find them." said Monty. "I don't think there's any need," said the Wabbit, "since they're already following us."
Monday, May 16, 2011
The Wabbit was so pleased with his new coat that he decided to give it an outing. So in the afternoon, he left Turbina the jet car behind and hopped over the bridge and across the railway line to another neighbourhood. "There's something awfully familiar about this place," thought the Wabbit as he looked around. The market traders were clearing up and he saw one of them take lettuce and cabbage to a nearby piece of land enclosed by a fence. The Wabbit slapped a paw to his forehead. This was the Free Wabbits of Torino Base Camp. Just as soon as he had recognised where he was, he noticed wabbits gathering on the far side of the field and making their way over. And as he was watching them, he suddenly became aware of voice from just beside him. The voice addressed him in an impossibly cheerful tone. "We were expecting you. You're just in time for a salad sandwich, Mr Wabbit." The Wabbit wondered how he could possibly be expected - since to his certain knowledge, he had given no-one any indication of his visit. Yet everywhere he went, his arrival was ready known in advance. There seemed to be nothing the Wabbit could do about it so he looked down and said, "Thank you fellow wabbit. I would appreciate a bite to eat." The small wabbit nodded his head and added, "You have mail, Mr Wabbit." "Well, lets go and find out what it's all about," said the Wabbit. And off they hopped together, over the wall and through the fence.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
It had only been a small mattter of changing the oil and an interior switch and the Wabbit was wishing he hadn't bothered. Turbina put up the most terrible opposition to what she regarded as "tampering". The Wabbit shoved his paws deep in his fur and pretended it was nothing to to with him. It was a busy enough corner and he felt the whole neighbourhood was watching. As Turbina slammed her door on the mechanic and rattled the car ramp, the Wabbit wondered whether she would relax and allow the necessary maintenance. In his head he imagined a quiet well-mannered car. This made matters worse. Turbina's horn echoed from the walls and she belched flame from her exhaust. Then she made all her lights flash and sprayed the mechanic with water from her window washer. The Wabbit noticed Lapinette leaning from the balcony of her secret pied-à-terre and quickly turned to Turbina with a firm manner. "Visualise a long road lined with gas stations," he suggested soothingly. "And imagine they're all for you." Turbina went eerily quiet and the only sound that could be heard was the faint ticking of a fuel pump. Suddenly her door and hood flew open. The mechanic accomplished the work in record time and dived dramatically to the side. He had expected Turbina to take further revenge, but all was well. The Wabbit looked up at Lapinette with an innocent smile and waved an innocent paw. Lapinette tried to look disapproving, without success. And up on the corner, the old lady and her daughter who had seen them drive pass the park, threw their arms around each other and hugged. "Lets have an ice cream and talk about what we've seen," said the mother. And so they did.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
The Wabbit and Lapinette reached Torino early and as they drove through familar streets, they heard Turbina's exhaust crackling in the morning air. Nearby, sitting on a park bench before breakfast, an elderly lady and her daughter watched the traffic pass, as they did every single day except Fridays. "Do you know," said the daughter, "that I just saw two wabbits drive by in a jet car?" The old lady spoke curtly. "I don't hold with wabbits driving jet cars and that's a fact." "Oh but they looked lovely," said her daughter. "She looked beautiful - la coniglia più bella che ho mai visto - and he was handsome and wore the most amazing glasses. Where do you think they're going?" "Somewhere very important by the sound of them, I'll be bound," her mother replied. "Perhaps they are having a before-breakfast meeting or whetever they call these things nowadays." "I don't think so," said the daughter shaking her head. "It's got to be a lot more more exciting than a meeting." "I think they went round there. Lets follow them and see where they go," replied her mother, nudging her daughter so forcibly from the seat, that she nearly fell on the grass. Inside the car, the Wabbit noticed the two get up from the bench and he mentally grumbled at Turbina's noisy exhaust. "Now look what you've done Turbina. You've frightened that old lady!" "Far from it," said Turbina.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
After the Wabbit and Lapinette had enjoyed a fine meal, the Wabbit was on the way to Frankfurt Airport when Lapinette said suddenly, "Why don't you just keep going and give me a lift home?" The Wabbit thought, quite erroneously, that Torino was most awfully far and said, "Turbina is very thirsty on fuel." Lapinette rummaged deeply in her bag, brought out a concertina wallet of plastic cards and pretended to play it, whilst humming a pleasant tune. The Wabbit opened the throttle. Turbina lurched forward and, for a moment, flames spat from her jet exhaust. "Oh no," said the Wabbit. "We'll probably get arrested." Lapinette smiled. She searched more deeply in her bag and brought out a diplomatic passport - with which she proceeded to fan herself. The Wabbit nodded and his ears brushed along the roof of the car. Turbina took the next slip road on the Autobahn and headed South. Then the Wabbit's stomach rumbled without warning. It was a long, low and somewhat threatening rumble and the Wabbit looked dismayed. Lapinette searched briefly in her bag and produced a salad sandwich. "It's 500 kilometers to Torino," she said - and handed the salad sandwich to the Wabbit. The Wabbit shifted into a more comfortable driving position and adopted a theatrical tone. "We have a full tank of gas, a salad sandwich, it's dark and I'm wearing funny glasses." "Hit it," breathed Turbina. And instantly they were a mere pin prick of light in the distance.
Saturday, May 07, 2011
When the Wabbit looked up he saw something very familiar and he had been able to put two and two together. So when Lapinette came swooping down by parachute he could scarcely say he was surprised. Lapinette didn't take long to arrive with the first consignment of containers. She landed near the compound and as she folded up her her parachute, the wabbits of Kaninchenrettung descended on her with applause. They started to scurry around with containers, putting supplies away safely. Lapinette hopped towards the Wabbit and smiled. "I didn't know you worked for "Conigli Senza Frontiere," said the Wabbit "I don't really. I just pulled some strings," replied Lapinette. The Wabbit mused for a second. "Lapinette always manages to pull strings," thought the Wabbit. "And they stay pulled," he added to himself. "So! Ask the question, Wabbit," said Lapinette. The Wabbit was horror stricken. He couldn't think of the question. He thought and thought and thought and then he made it look as if he knew all along. "Ah yes, the question is, of course, what was that for a sort of adventure?" "It was wabbit magical realism," said Lapinette with a straight face. "It certainly was," said the Wabbit and chuckled. "What shall we do now?" "You could take me for lunch," said Lapinette. "Parachuting is very hungry work." "OK." said the Wabbit. "What about Adolf Wagner's in Frankfurt? I hear it is old fashioned and none the worse for it." "Go in Turbina the jet car?" Lapinette looked quizzical and the Wabbit put his paws on his hips. "Do you know, I'll swear that car knows what I'm thinking," "I do," said Turbina from right behind the Wabbit.
Friday, May 06, 2011
When the Wabbit reached the Kaninchenrettung compound he was most impressed. Some wabbits gathered round and murmured "It's Herr Kaninchen, the Wabbit." Others seemed to know him only as the Jazz Wabbit. There was polite applause for a considerable time. The Wabbit waited for it to subside and then began with a question. "Fellow wabbits! What are your just and fair requirements?" A young wabbit at the rear binkied high in the air and cried "Homes, carrots, health care!" Another said, "We urgently need vet's funds. Through no fault of our own our bills are prodigious." The Wabbit nodded in sympathy and continued. "Wabbits have made considerable gains in recent times." He paused again as sounds of agreement echoed round the compound. The Wabbit went on. "Still, we remain in the shade of other mammals. And so we must find allies as did the Free Wabbits of Turin who are regularly fed by market traders. There are those in the mammal community who will support us in times of need. They are our chief allies." "But we don't know where to find them," said the young wabbit. "The Wabbit glanced at his notes and looked back up. "They will find you. Your friends, supporters and admirers must go to the Kaninchenrettung Web Site on the Internet and press computer keys," said the Wabbit knowledgeably. "Everyone gives a small amount with their credit card." "... with PayPal," shouted the young wabbit and she binkied a considerable distance. "Just the job," said the Wabbit colloquially and bowed. A tall wabbit in the centre of the compound then approached the Wabbit and said "Do you think it will work?" But something had caught the Wabbit's attention and he glanced into the sky. "I think its already starting," he replied to to the tall wabbit quietly. And he turned to the audience and raised a paw. "Seid umschlungen, Kaninchens!" And the Wabbit put up a silent prayer that the wabbits would indeed be embraced. Yet he knew in his heart that there were many out there willing to help the wabbits. "Diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt," murmured the Wabbit.
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Turbina slid smoothly into a clearing on the outskirts of town and the Wabbit alighted to meet his contact. "I can tell by your car, that you are the Wabbit." said the waiting wabbit." Ich freue mich Sie kennenzulernen," replied the Wabbit, because he was very pleased indeed to make his acquaintance. "I am in charge of security and I am detailed to take you through the forest to the Kaninchenrettung compound." The Wabbit knew that meant Wabbit Rescue and he was rather excited. He was thinking about what the Kaninchenrettung compound might look like and how he would be received, when the security wabbit broke in. "Herr Kaninchen, the wabbits are looking forward to your speech." The Wabbit stopped in his tracks. There was nothing in his mission papers about a speech. "Ah, yes, my speech," said the Wabbit. His mind raced. "I will of course, play it by ear." he said finally. The security wabbit started to lead the way through the forest and just as the Wabbit started to hop closely behind, he turned. "I understand you like jazz, Herr Kaninchen," The Wabbit replied enthusiastically in the affirmative. "You are perhaps familiar with Albert Mangelsdorff," said his contact. "Tell me more," said the Wabbit, as together they hopped happily through the trees to Kaninchenrettung.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Turbina took the Wabbit straight to the Town Hall. The Wabbit didn't have to look at his map. "Oh, what a nice building," thought the Wabbit. He knew it was called the Rathaus, because his mission papers specified that he must there present his credentials. The Wabbit had been met by the Mayor. "We are expecting you," the Mayor had spoken in a pleasant voice. The Wabbit had then presented his diplomatic pass, which was inspected with approval. Then he was given a wonderful packed lunch, presented in a tray with compartments. In each compartment there was a portion of his favourite food - sliced carrots, artichoke tubers and gourmet pellets. "Ich bin Ihnen sehr dankbar," the Wabbit had responded, because his tummy was rumbling and he was very grateful indeed. Everyone in the building came out and stood on the stairs and waved. "Viel Glück, Herr Kaninchen!" The Wabbit had been quite overcome. Now, as he sat in Turbina, he wondered quite where he was supposed to go and he realised he had forgotten to ask. The Wabbit slapped his paw across his forehead and said to Turbina "I suppose you know." "I do." said Turbina.
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
The Wabbit was feeling in a determined mood. He had read his mission papers during the flight and he was confident of success. He was to pick up Turbina, the jet car, outside the airport and drive the short distance to Rosbach vor der Höhe. It was only 25 kilometers away and the Wabbit thought he could surely have cartwheeled that distance in no time. But Turbina it had to be. It had been adapted for his paws and so had to be tested - and that was that. The Wabbit looked for the car park exit and as he hopped, he wondered what Rosbach vor der Höhe would be like. He had never been in Germany before and so he turned on the special translation unit in his ears. Then all at once he spotted a tall man holding up a very large sign and the very large sign said "Herr Kaninchen for Turbina," "Oooh that's me," said the Wabbit. "I am that very Kaninchen." "Please follow me," said the tall man, who quickly ushered the Wabbit through a side door and into his car. The Wabbit sat for a second. Then he opened the throttle and suddenly the Wabbit had gone.
Monday, May 02, 2011
The Wabbit was staring out the window, convinced that he could see a familiar helichopper, when the Captain's voice boomed over the tannoy. "Mr Wabbit! Incoming communication for you from La Generale Lapinette. I'll patch it through." The Wabbit's eyes shot up as far as they could possibly go. A steward handed the Wabbit a headset and, not without a little difficulty, he put the headphones on his ears. "Em, you were promoted, Lapinette?" "Because I'm worth it!" Lapinette laughed her infectious laugh and continued. "Your mission has been changed. Orders from on high." "Higher than you?" The Wabbit asked this in tone of voice that he thought was humorous. Lapinette ignored the Wabbit's misplaced wit. "It is an extremely important wabbit matter. You are diverted to Frankfurt, where you will proceed on a mission of the utmost importance." "Is it Importantly Important?" The Wabbit thought everything was considered important these days and liked to make sure of the relative importance of everything. "It is most urgently important." said Lapinette. The Wabbit noticed that the steward had placed a bulky envelope marked Mission Papers behind the net on the back of the seat in front. "Copy that Generale," said the Wabbit, getting his terms right for once. "Buon viaggio, bello. Out," said Lapinette without further ado and the Wabbit saw the helichopper fade into the distance.