Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Wabbit takes the Tram across the Dora

The Wabbit had received special instructions to take the Number 9 tram to Corso Swizzera and to hop around the area. He had been warned it was rather industrial with a number of hideaways that were perfect for the Agents of Rabit. The Carabinieri had also been kind enough to advise him that Skratch the Cat Burglar had been recently released from custody. Apparently he was likely to have gone to ground in the same district. The Wabbit wondered whether Skratch had forged some kind of alliance with Rabit but resisted the thought. "If Skratch is anything, he is independent," thought the Wabbit. "He's probably casing a joint in order to relieve some poor person of their expensive and treasured diamonds." The Wabbit looked out of the tram window and it didn't seem possible. The tram had just passed across the River Dora and the Wabbit could see industrial units in every cranny. This was clearly not a diamonds place but one of yards and vehicles and shops selling tyres and pneumatic compressors. The Wabbit couldn't envisage Skratch using a pneumatic compressor unless it was to help drill through the door of a safe. "Oh, I suppose pneumatic compressors have got to come from somewhere," mused the Wabbit as he got off the tram. "That woman seems in quite a hurry. I'll go her way and see what's what." The Wabbit quickly loped across the tram lines in pursuit and hopped south towards the river.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Wabbit joins the Procession

The Wabbit happily marched - or rather hopped - along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II with the Carabinieri. "I only went out for carrots," he thought, "and look what happened." It wasn't easy hopping alongside the Carabinieri but the procession was, as he had been advised, informal enough. Each time they passed a group of onlookers the Wabbit heard polite clapping and he nodded his head in acknowledgement. Some people seemed to know the Wabbit and he heard them say to each other "Oh look! Isn't that the Wabbit?" Then the Wabbit heard someone say "What a smart coat that Wabbit is wearing," and he was relieved because he was not wearing his formal cape. He noticed a man who kept running ahead to take photographs and each time the man focused his camera, the Wabbit straightened up and looked directly ahead. "I think he must like my coat," thought the Wabbit and murmured, "perhaps I will speak to him later and order some prints." "Commander Wabbit," said the officer next to him. "Will you join us later for our gala dinner?" "May I bring Lapinette, my beloved?" said the Wabbit. "The Lapinette?" said the officer. "The same," said the Wabbit. A palpable frisson rippled though the ranks. "She will be wondering what happened to her carrots," said the Wabbit. "Our commanding officer will send an official invitation," said the officer. "And the carrots?" worried the Wabbit. "We'll send a bouquet." said the officer. "That'll fix it," thought the Wabbit.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Wabbit and the Carabinieri

The Wabbit had only popped down to the supermarket for a bag of carrots when he heard a commotion. He couldn't help hopping round the corner to see what it was. There were Carabinieri everywhere and they were having a special celebration. "Commander!" The Wabbit looked around and around. "He must be important," thought the Wabbit. "I want to see who it is." He looked and looked and looked - and then he realised that it was he, the Wabbit, who was the Commander. "Hop up here Commander! This is Pegasus," The Wabbit hopped onto a platform and spoke to the officer. "You must be part of the Corazzieri, said the Wabbit thinking quickly. "Your fine mottto is Virtus in periculis firmior." The Wabbit was, as usual, hopelessly out of touch with military matters. "Cavalry Sir. Thank you anyway Sir" said the officer. The Wabbit was now regretting he had neglected to put on his formal cloak, but he had only ventured out for carrots. "My uniform is rather inadequate to the occasion, I'm afraid," said the Wabbit. "Don't worry sir, this is a gathering of the Carabinieri Association and everyone that has ever been in the Carabinieri can be here. It is quite informal." "I won't have to make a speech then," said the Wabbit. "Well you can if you want. You are quite well-known." the officer said encouragingly. The Wabbit thought about it. "Perhaps later," said the Wabbit. "May I stroke Pegasus?" "Base of my ears please," said Pegasus.
Virtus in periculis firmior: Courage becomes stronger in danger

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Wabbit up on the Roof

"Lets go up on the roof," said Lapinette, "and talk about our most recent adventures." "OK," said the Wabbit. "But strictly speaking. We didn't have an adventure per se. We just moved around." "Per se?" echoed Lapinette. "Don't be so stuffy. Moving around is always an adventure." "Ouch," said the Wabbit as Lapinette suddenly dug him in the ribs. "Ouch," he said again as she pulled down one of his ears and whispered "Come on." Then without further ado she hopped out onto the ledge and dangled her paws in the air. The Wabbit hopped out too and found the experience rather exhilarating. "What shall we do now?" said the Wabbit. "Sing," said Lapinette. "Sing what? said the Wabbit. "Up on the roof," said Lapinette. "OK, G Major. You first," said the Wabbit quickly. Lapinette put one paw over her left ear and started. "Right smack dab in the middle of town. I've found a paradise that's trouble proof. Up on the roof!" And she swung her legs back and forward with glee. The Wabbit started to enjoy himself too and he continued. "And if this world starts getting you down.There's room enough for two. Up on the roof. Up on the roof!" "Up on the roo-oo-oof," warbled Lapinette. "Oh, come on, honey," spoke the Wabbit deeply."Up on the roo-oof." "I liked that," said Lapinette. "So did I," said the Wabbit. "Lets stay up here all night." And so they did.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Wabbit enjoys a merry jest with Lapinette

"Nice car you got there," said the Wabbit. "Does it use much fuel?" "Most amusing," said Turbina the Jet Car. The Wabbit could hear her fuel pump ticking threateningly and ignored it. "Perhaps you're going my way?" said Lovely Lapinette. "I could drop you off." "I'm not sure that would be proper," said the Wabbit, "because people might talk." "Let's fly in the face of convention," said Lapinette. "My parents might disapprove of me accepting a lift from a beautiful lady wabbit with a fast car," said the Wabbit. "They're not here," said Lapinette, "and I promise not to tell." "Well," said the Wabbit. "If you assure me you will drive carefully, I may accept." "I aways drive carefully," said Lapinette. "You'll keep your paws on the wheel and your eyes on the road?" said the Wabbit. "My eyes and my paws are at your disposal," said Lapinette. "And I can play any music I like? asked the Wabbit. "Within reason," said Lapinette. "I am a reasonable Wabbit," said the Wabbit. "That's not exactly what I heard," said Lapinette. "But I'll take your word for it." "I can take no more," said Turbina and both her doors swung open. "Lets go," said the Wabbit and they both jumped in. Turbina's wheels span as she leapt forward and flames from her afterburner scorched a line on the road the whole way home.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Wabbit and the Original Big Red Train

The driver and his mate got down from the Big Red Train at Torino Porta Nuova, but the Wabbit lingered. He couldn't help looking at the controls and his paws twitched at the sight of them. He was itching to push, pull or switch something, anything as long as he could touch it. Suddenly he heard a voice and it was speaking to the Wabbit. "Do you want to see something Wabbit?" The Wabbit looked all around and he could see nothing. But he spoke back anyway. "I do like seeing things," he said. "Watch out of the window!" said the voice and the Wabbit looked out. "Wow," said the Wabbit. They were no longer in the railway station. They were in the street, by a park and there were cars and lamp posts and signs. "I am the original Big Red Train. The first of the line!" said the Big Red Train. And the Wabbit could see the train was a bit different. "How did you do pull that switcheroo thing?" asked the Wabbit in slang. "Quantum mechanics," said the train. "OK," said the Wabbit. The Wabbit had heard of quantum mechanics and he knew this was theoretically possible. "I thought I'd bring you near to your lodgings," said the train. "Don't worry, they'll be along in a minute." "Who'll be along in a minute?" asked the Wabbit. "Your pals, Lapinette and Turbina." "So how do you that then - quantum mechanics?" said the Wabbit. "By telephone," said the train.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Wabbit jumps on the Footplate

The Wabbit always liked to nod to the train driver. He felt it was only right and proper that he or she should be properly acknowledged. The train driver was aboard and he leaned from his window and looked down at the Wabbit and shouted. "Hey wabbit, are you coming with me?" "Yes," replied the Wabbit. "I am going to Torino." "Why don't you hop aboard with me," said the driver. "Oh may I?" said the Wabbit politely. "Are you certain that is permissible?" "Believe you me I know the rule book," said the driver, "and it don't say nothing about wabbits, that's for sure." So the Wabbit hopped up and into the cab of the big red train and then he hopped about and looked all around. There were many dials and switches that reminded him of Turbina the Jet Car and he kept his paws away from them, just in case he was suddenly propelled into a railway version of a time vortex. "Perhaps I can help you shovel the coal into the furnace," said the Wabbit with a twinkle in his eye. The driver's eyes became as wide as saucers until he realised that the Wabbit was pulling his leg. "Hey Giuseppe," he called to his mate. "We've got a live wire here!" And they laughed and laughed and laughed. And as the train pulled out of the station they were laughing still.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Wabbit kills time in Rome

The Wabbit was at a loose end. He hopped around and he hopped around until his paws were so sore that he knew he was missing Turbina, his jet car. There were many tough traffic restrictions in Rome and they had so many penalties for minor infractions that not even Turbina's friends in the Carabinieri could get her a special pass. "Silly restrictions!" muttered the Wabbit. The Wabbit hopped right past the Coliseum. He avoided the tourist traps because he was looking for a special market where he had once purchased a very fine pair of paw warmers for only 2 Euro. "It's around here somewhere, I know it is," thought the Wabbit. "Someone must have moved it," he grumbled and stamped his back leg. He had looked with disapproval at the mock medieval market with its little white tents, because it was not the kind of market that met with the Wabbit's approval. The Wabbit liked big bustling markets with many different things sold very cheaply. "I want a rufty-tufty market," he complained to himself. A rufty-tufty market in the Wabbit's view offered some element of danger: a place where the Wabbit had to have his wits about him or he might be fleeced. Neither did he want a jar of caramelised carrots for 25 Euro. What the Wabbit wanted was to come across a rare jazz CD and no-one but the Wabbit would know its real value. This only happened on extremely rare occasions. "It's the seeking that counts, Lapinette," said the Wabbit to Lapinette's advertisement, which was everywhere. "Seek then, Wabbit," said Lapinette's advertisement. "I knew that would happen," said the Wabbit.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Wabbit and the Dubious Civil Servant

The Wabbit had just stepped out of the Antimafia Office, where had picked up a dossier on the sinister Agents of Rabit. He had only paused for a moment when a very strange man sidled up to him. "Nice coat," said the man. The Wabbit thought the man's suit was quite woeful . "Che brutta," he murmured and commented out loud on his hat. "A good hat opens many doors," said the Wabbit, because it was the first thing he thought of saying. "and closes them," said the man. The Wabbit had not the slightest clue what the man meant and said nothing. "Why are you here?" said the man. "I am but a tourist, killing time before my tour of the Coliseum," said the Wabbit carefully. "Perhaps I can help you kill time," said the man. "It would be a favour." The Wabbit ignored an offer that he considered impertinent. "Why are you here?" said the Wabbit. "I am a special adviser and I came here to help the government," said the man. The Wabbit concealed his enormous disbelief. "Then you are surely a kind of civil servant," said the Wabbit and added "I am also a kind of civil servant." "Then your pension will be a good one," said the man. "Yes," said the Wabbit. "When I retire I shall be a Tourist for Life." At this, the strange man gave up. "Tu parli troppo*" said the man and he sidled off from whence he came. The Wabbit knew he had managed to out-talk his annoying companion and celebrated his departure with a retort. "Pazzo," muttered the Wabbit.
*You talk too much

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Wabbit meets an old Friend

The Wabbit was undercover and was waiting for someone he knew. He had just discounted the old lady and the boy when he noticed a very familiar cat. It was Antiquicat from Largo di Torre Argentina! He was just about to greet him, when he remembered that he must not be seen to recognise his contact. "Oh hello micio cat," he said in a most friendly voice. "Oh what a good cat, what a pretty cat!" and he tickled him under his chin. "Don't overdo it, Commander Wabbit," whispered Antiquicat. "Sorry," said the Wabbit and thought for a second. "What was that you said about Commander Wabbit?" "Your commission came through after Peacock Island," said Antiquicat, "and you're not to order people around." The Wabbit had just been thinking of several scenarios where he did just that. "Of course not," whispered the Wabbit. "How vulgar." Antiquicat meaowed and rubbed himself up and down against the Wabbit in the interests of security. "Here are your papers Commander Wabbit. Also I have news. You have been followed by the sinister Agents Of Rabit. They put a tail on you." "I already have a tail," said the Wabbit flippantly and immediately regretted it. "Don't underestimate the Agents of Rabit," said Antiquicat. "They never give up." "Probably I can shake the tail," said the Wabbit and shook his own, just for fun. "Shortly you will have to return to Torino," said Antiquicat. "I'll take Turbina," said the Wabbit. "Lapinette will take her. You will take the Big Red Train," said Antiquicat. "Good grief," thought the Wabbit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Wabbit goes Undercover

The Wabbit was acting in an undercover capacity so he had to wait. "Wabbit's the name, undercover's the game," he thought to himself and stamped the ground with his back paws. It was early morning in Rome. The weather was a trifle chilly and his trade more than a little slow. Nevertheless, the Wabbit had sold twelve postcards and stamps, two Roman centurion suits, a scale model of a helichopper and a football scarf bearing the slogan "Mo' Te Gonfio". The Wabbit did not know what the latter meant and hadn't asked. The Ciao Special Edition had nearly sold out and the Wabbit absolutely refused to sell the last one, despite several requests. "More in tomorrow. Come back tomorrow, I'll keep one for you," he would say to customers, cheerfully. The Wabbit wondered who exactly he was waiting for. It was someone importantly important and that someone had something for him. He had been told that he would recognise that person, but he was not to let anyone else know that he knew them. "They're not getting the last copy of Ciao Special Edition," he thought. "I'm buying it and I'm going to keep it in the car." The Wabbit took his emergency coin and rang up a sale in the till. Then he put his paws in his fur and hailed passers by in a loud voice. "Latest, latest, read all about it! Shameful scandal denounced by Espresso Magazine. Una legge-vergogna che salverebbe corruttori, truffatori e prestanome di mafiosi!" People were already turning round and he prayed that not one of them would ask for his last Ciao.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Turbina Flies In (with the Wabbit)

The Wabbit had pointed out to Turbina that Mach One was too fast even for the Autobahn. "The noise startles the wabbits," he said, although he did not know for certain if there were any wabbits around. Turbina had simply said , "OK" and taken off. Before the Wabbit knew where he was, he was looking down at the Alps. "I didn't know you could do that Turbina," said the Wabbit. "Jet Car" said Turbina. "Fair enough," said the Wabbit, who was enjoying the flight. "Let me know when we're in Rome." Turbina immediately said "We're here," and there was a strange drone from her engine as she throttled back. The Wabbit noticed the signs at the side of the road and asked, "Do you see what I see?" "I do," said Turbina. "It looks as if Lovely Lapinette is advertising something called Ciao. Could it be a new perfume, Turbina?" Turbina released a valve and a delicious perfume filled the car. "Turbina, you knew all about this didn't you?" said the Wabbit. "Surprise," said Turbina. The Wabbit strained to see the billboards and wondered. "I wonder what will be waiting for us now?" said the Wabbit, "more things for my list? Another mission?" "Oil, fuel, tyres," said Turbina. "Being in 1962 made me very hungry," said the Wabbit and his stomach grumbled. Immediately, the glove compartment dropped open and inside was a salad sandwich, neatly wrapped by Lapinette. And on it there was a label that said simply Ciao.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Wabbit who came in from the Cold

Turbina had told the Wabbit not to touch a certain switch, but the Wabbit couldn't help poking it. Turbina lurched violently and they both gave a mighty cry as they spiralled through a time vortex and came to halt with a shudder. "Told you so," said Turbina. "Might as well get out and hop around since we're here," said the Wabbit pragmatically. And so he did. He could see his breath make little puffs in the cold air as he hopped and looked. But as he turned to go back, his fur froze. A border guard was leaning in Turbina's window. The Wabbit was aghast and watched helplessly. He heard Turbina bark several short, sharp commands and to his horror the guard took his rifle from his shoulder. Then, to the Wabbit's surprise, the guard took three steps back from Turbina, presented arms, crashed his right boot down with a military thump and stood stiffly to attention. The Wabbit felt relieved. Then Turbina squirted the guard straight in the eye with her windscreen washer. "Good grief," thought the Wabbit and winced. But the guard saluted Turbina and wheeled around. Then, with a ceremonial goose step, he marched slowly back to his station, his every footfall echoing round the gloomy girders of the iron bridge. The Wabbit hopped back, leaned in Turbina's window and said, "How?" "Outranked," said Turbina. "What rank are you?" asked the Wabbit. "Higher than you," said Turbina. "I don't have a rank," said the Wabbit. "Poor thing," said Turbina. The Wabbit's sides were shaking with mirth but he slid into the driver's seat and settled down. "OK Turbina. Now where's that time switch thingy?" "I'll do it," said Turbina.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Wabbit and Turbina prepare to Leave

The Wabbit took a last long look at the newly named Free Peacock and Wabbit Island and turned to Turbina. "Did we get what we came for?" "More," said Turbina. The Wabbit agreed, because according to the briefing papers they were only on a preliminary venture. "Lets go," said Turbina. "Ah Turbina. Back to the city with all that traffic and noise and people thronging around," said the Wabbit. "Rome," said Turbina. Suddenly the Wabbit became aware that the peacock had returned and was looking at Turbina's shiny chrome bits. "What may we do for you, good peacock," asked the Wabbit cautiously. "I wonder if you could give me a lift to the Volkspark. We shall take in the Glienicker Brücke," said the peacock. "That was the Bridge of Spies," mused the Wabbit. "How time flies, Herr Pfau." The Wabbit pushed his paws deep in his fur and leaned against Turbina and thought deeply. "Yes, from the old time of the Big Cold. There was an old black and white film I recall." The Wabbit tried hard to remember. "With Harry Potter," he said finally. "Harry Palmer," said the peacock.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Wabbit negotiates for Wabbit Island

The Wabbit found his way to the King's Castle and watched as the peacock arrrived. The peacock walked straight to Turbina the Jet Car, looked at his reflection, then walked around her three times and back. So the Wabbit decided to begin. "We, the wabbits, were treated badly here and we therefore ask for an apology." "It's hardly our doing," said the peacock. "We were brought here - in some discomfort I might add. We had no control over the King. You must speak with him and he is a long time dead." "So I gather," said the Wabbit. "You will have no problem then with renaming the island, Wabbit Island." The Peacock continued to gaze at his reflection and to the Wabbit's surprise, Turbina's door opened and the peacock got in. The Wabbit heard murmuring and music and then he saw Turbina's other door open and the peacock get out. "I suggest Peacock Island formerly known as Wabbit Island," said the peacock. The Wabbit didn't want to agree too quickly. "Wabbit Island which used to be mainly wabbits", he countered, "and is now mainly peacocks." That's a bit ungainly," said the peacock. "It is," said the Wabbit, "so I suggest "Free Peacock and Wabbit Island." "Satisfactory," said the peacock, "on condition that there is a yearly name-review conference with a Gala Dinner." The Wabbit could see no problem. "There is one more thing," said the peacock and looked at Turbina. Her door opened. Then a CD flew out and landed on the grass. "Albert Mangelsdorff Quartet: Diggin," said the peacock. "Good choice," said the Wabbit.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Wabbit begins Diplomatic Discussions

The Wabbit arrived at the agreed spot as instructed. It had not been hard to find and the journey had been pleasant enough. There, he waited by the little house. He had been told to be patient, so when some time had elapsed without incident, he thought nothing of it. Then a rustling of feathers alerted him to the presence of what could only be a peacock. Could this be the Spokes-peacock of whom he had been apprised? The peacock walked in his direction and the Wabbit was just about to raise a paw in greeting when it walked straight past him as if he wasn't there. Then the peacock stood and stared at his reflection in the window of the house. He stared and he stared and for all the time that he stared, the Wabbit waited patiently. Suddenly the peacock spoke. "You are the Wabbit and I am the Peacock." The Wabbit knew that already but he merely nodded as gravely as he could. The peacock turned and walked past the Wabbit again and continued around the house for some while. The Wabbit stood very still as advised. Then he took from his bag a packet of grains, small seeds and some flower petals and placed them carefully on the ground. Suddenly the peacock was back and had eaten nearly everything the Wabbit had brought. The Wabbit took his opportunity. "I come to speak of the Island formerly known as Wabbit Island." "Before my time," said the peacock. The Wabbit nodded. "It was before my time too." The peacock finished the food. "Then we agree on something. Let us go to the King's Castle and discuss the matter over more seeds." he said. "Meet you there," said the Wabbit who had no intention of following the peacock anywhere.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Wabbit and the Question of Peacock Island

The Wabbit had been sent on a matter of the utmost sensitivity. On his arrival in Potsdam, he was guided to a specially converted water taxi and ferried directly to Peacock Island. Turbina the Jet Car had been authorised to accompany the Wabbit on the island and even though her permission papers had described her as an "agricultural automotive necessity", she hadn't grumbled. The Wabbit waded ashore through the reeds and felt like a most intrepid explorer. The undergrowth presented no problems for a wabbit, so as he hopped, he mulled over the delicate matter in hand. "This," murmured the Wabbit, "has not always been Peacock Island" He knew that a long, long time ago, it had been known as Wabbit Island and in these days it was covered in forest and filled with wabbits of all shapes and sizes. The Wabbit's briefing papers indicated that the King, Frederick William II of Prussia, had appropriated the island and built a castle. Then he had filled the island with peacocks, because he liked their feathers - and he would sit in his castle and watch them for hours. The Wabbit read that, in consequence, wabbits increasingly suffered wabbit exclusion. "Such a nice place," thought the Wabbit and although he knew its current German name, Pfaueninsel, he adamantly refused to say that name out loud. He stood for a minute and looked all around. Then he exclaimed boldly and loudly and to no-one in particular except the Wabbit. "So this is Kaninchenwerder!"

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Wabbit, Turbina & Jazz Through the Night

"I want to go to the Jazz ReFound Festival in Vercelli," said Turbina the Jet Car, lengthily. "Oh, we can't. We're on mission," said the Wabbit. The Wabbit didn't like putting his paw down quite so hard, so he softened. "We could always listen to jazz then," he suggested kindly. Turbina switched on the Internet radio and searched. Mellow sounds drifted from the speakers and the Wabbit settled back. Abruptly, Turbina changed the station. "I was enjoying that," said the Wabbit. "Wait," said Turbina. Suddenly they were surrounded by the soft tones of Nigel Williams at Jazz FM. The Wabbit watched and then smiled as Turbina submitted an electronic request. They had only to wait a minute for Nigel's voice. "Hey, we've heard from the Wabbit, who's just hopped on board. He's on one of his adventures in that fabulous car of his. So here's something to speed them both on their way." Turbina and the Wabbit spoke at one and the same time and all that they could say was "Ooooooh!" Turbina turned down the interior light as the strains of Ella Fitzgerald filled the car. The Wabbit sang along. "And now when you turn the lamp down low, I'm beginning to see the light." And little flickers of sodium street light fell around them like notes, as they ate up the kilometers to Potsdam and Peacock Island.