The Snail had decided to live at the old abandoned hospital and so all together, they made their way by the forest path. But as they rounded a corner, they found their way blocked by a most ferocious creature. There was no way past and the Wabbit hopped forward. "Good evening Mr Puma," he said in a commanding tone. "Oh really, is there anyone you don't know?" asked the Snail. "How is Skratch?" said the puma. "Around and about," said the Wabbit in a non-commital fashion. "I thought you were safely relocated." "Grrr," said the puma. "Don't talk me about the Forestry Police. They caged me and did things with tags. And the food was horrid. I escaped at the first opportunity." "Frighten, frighten, frighten," called Ghost Bunny from behind the fence. "Oh Hello," said the puma and he lifted a weary, mud stained paw. "Snail," said the Snail, "Big Blue," he added. "Pleased to meet you," said the puma. The Wabbit was going to ask if the puma was hungry but he thought better of it. "What are your plans, Puma?" "Prowl the territory, know the territory. It is the Path of the Puma." said the Puma. "And then?" prompted the Wabbit. "I will be the territory," said the Puma with such a solemn expression that the three friends wanted to laugh and laugh and laugh. But they wisely decided against.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
"Oh, it's raining!" said the Snail. "The show must go on," said the Wabbit. "I rather like the rain," said the Snail." "I do not, it sullies my fur," said the Wabbit and stared over the umbrellas. "My goodness, look who it is," gasped the Wabbit, "come on!" The Wabbit leapt to the front and with a single bound he was on the stage. "Patrick, Franco, Franz!" greeted the Wabbit and his voice boomed through the speakers. There was a murmur in the crowd and it became increasingly louder. "Wabbit, Wabbit! We want the Wabbit!" shouted the crowd. "With this rain we haven't got long." said Patrick, "so take it away Wabbit," " What with I wonder," thought the Wabbit." "Any requests?" he shouted, tapping the microphone. "Photos of Ghosts!" murmured Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit glanced at Ghost Bunny and grinned. "Photos of Ghosts, Photos of Ghosts!" yelled the crowd. A melodic introduction began. "Black roses laced with silver, By a broken moon, Ten million stars, And the whispered harmonies of leaves," sang the Wabbit. The crowd roared and drowned out his voice so he sang louder, ""Five dusty tomes, with faded pasted pictures, of love's reverie, across each cover is written, "Herein are Photos of Ghosts". The Wabbit paused for the attention of his audience - then when he had it, he lowered his voice and sang softly. "... of ghosts, of ghosts, of ghosts, of ghosts ..." His words echoed and bounced across the wet square and the streaming rooftops and all the umbrellas of all the people. Suddenly a thunderous crack shook the buildings. Lightning filled the air and poked its way into every crevice as the rain poured down in torrents.
Monday, August 29, 2011
The Wabbit, the Snail and Ghost Bunny set off through the city. Now all three were wondering what to do next. "I want to be entertained," said Ghost Bunny. "Me too," said the Snail. "I find the city very entertaining as it is," said the Wabbit. "But we could perhaps approach a denizen of these parts and ask him for recommendations." "I like denizens!" said Ghost Bunny and fluttered about in excitement. "You speak, Mr Wabbit." said the Snail. "You seem gifted in that department." "Oh, all right," said the Wabbit. "Excuse me, man with striped shirt!" The man was in a hurry for his tram, but he paused briefly and looked directly at the Wabbit. "How can I help you, Wabbit?" "We seek entertainment, my good sir," replied the Wabbit. "What might you suggest?" The man stood and thought and he looked at the Snail with interest. "Proceed along this tram route," he said, "and you will come to a big square. There will be a free concert there later." "Free?" asked the Wabbit just to make sure. "Gratis," said the man. "Thank you so much," said the Wabbit and raised a paw. The man shook his paw gravely and with a sidelong glance at the Snail, he departed. The Wabbit turned to his friends and grinned. "Shall we proceed?" he said. "Directly!" said the Snail and Ghost Bunny.
Friday, August 26, 2011
"Another hospital?" queried the Snail. "This is my most favouritist abandoned hospital," enthused the Wabbit. "I wanted to introduce you to my learn-ed associate!" There was a low moaning from the corner of the roof and the Snail ducked quickly as an apparition swooped over his antennae. The apparition executed several tight turns and yelled "Frighten, frighten frighten!" "She's coming back for second swoop," gurgled the Snail and ducked again. "Be not afraid," said the Wabbit. "I wasn't really," confessed the Snail. The apparition hovered just above the Wabbit''s shoulder, fluttering occasionally. "Ghost Bunny's the name. Haunting's the game!" said Ghost Bunny. "Excellent swooping," said the Snail. Ghost Bunny whispered in the Wabbit's ear, which was quite easy. "I like your friend," she said in a soft, breathess tone. "You're not from round here," interrupted the Snail. "I'm from Pluto," said Ghost Bunny proudly. "Not many of you Plutonians in this city," said the Snail and winked with the eye at the end of his longer antenna. "Just one," said the Wabbit, taking control of the conversation. "Ghost Bunny has a doctorate in Quantum ... thingies." "Will you take a slide with me?" asked the Snail. ""Yes but I'd rather frighteningly hover," murmured Ghost Bunny. "I will hop!" said the Wabbit sharply
Thursday, August 25, 2011
The Wabbit and the Snail ambled along Via Netro. "Look!" said the Wabbit. "I usually speak to the Big Football Boy when I hop past." "Does he say anything back?" asked the Snail." Not a lot," said the Wabbit. "All he says is, "It's over there!"" "Where?" said the Snail. "There," said the Wabbit. The Snail looked all around. "I don't see anything," murmured the Snail in a disappointed fashion.. "You're not looking for anything." said the Wabbit in a matter-of-fact voice he used when delivering a lecture. "I'm usually going somewhere, so I ask him where that somewhere is and he says "It's over there!" "But you already know where you're going," said the Snail. "Exactly!" said the Wabbit "That's why it always works." The Snail shook his head. "Let me get this right," he sighed. "You ask the boy - but you already know the way." "Never fails," said the Wabbit. The Snail thought for a bit. Then he addressed the boy. "Where is the Museum of Natural History?" "It's over there," said the boy. "So it is," said the Snail and turned to the Wabbit. "Do you think he supports Juventus?" The Wabbit merely shrugged, so the Snail spoke loudly to the boy. "What way to the Juventus Football Stadium?" "It used to be over there!" said the boy.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The Wabbit and the Big Blue Snail continued their stroll through the city. "This is a hospital!" said the Snail. "Yes, it's my most favouritist hospital ever," said the Wabbit enthusiastically. "How so?" asked the Snail. "It has the most fantastic snack bar," said the Wabbit. "In the hospital?" said the Snail, but it was more of a statement than a question. "Yes!" cried the Wabbit. "Everyone here likes the Wabbit and if I speak to people they are most pleasant to me." "Well for choice I wouldn't want to be here," said the Snail. "But," said the Wabbit, "if I had a broken paw, I could be treated here and then I would slip down to the snack bar in my pyjamas." The Snail thought the Wabbit was already wearing pyjamas. "I am rather peckish," said the Snail. "Watch this," said the Wabbit. "I will go and ask for refreshments da portare via and they will rush around and put everything on a little tray and cover it with foil!" "Really?" said the Snail, who was quite impressed. "What will you have?" asked the Wabbit. "A mushroom, fruit and leaves panino," said the Snail. "Subito!" said the Wabbit. He vanished and quickly returned with his order. "And is that a cardboard tray?" asked the Snail. "It is," said the Wabbit. "Nom nom," said the Snail.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The Wabbit and the Snail drifted through the grid of streets that lay behind the Piazza Carlo Felice. " I do see what you mean," said the Snail. "There is much to learn about natural history on the street." "What have you noticed?" asked the Wabbit encouragingly. "All these people, they go hither and thither," said the Snail. "And so shall we," said the Wabbit. "Look! Here's my favourite bookshop." The Wabbit and the Snail looked at the man in the window for a long time. "He needs cheering up," said the Snail." "He is a film director and makes comical yet ultimately depressing films." said the Wabbit knowledgeably. "Give me an example," said the Snail. "OK," said the Wabbit. "Here's a line from one of his films." The Wabbit struck a dramatic pose. "The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of wabbits forced to live in a barren, godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror, and degradation, forming a useless, bleak straitjacket in a black, absurd cosmos." The Wabbit slapped his sides and convulsed in helpless mirth. The Snail was silent for nearly ten minutes. Then suddenly he smiled. The smile turned into a giggle, the giggle turned into a full blooded laugh and then his shell began to shake. "Here's lookin'' at you, Wabbit," said the Snail.
Monday, August 22, 2011
The Wabbit was kicking around with no particular place to go. And he was grumbling to himself that he wasn't having an adventure. Lapinette had been called away on an urgent mission and Skratch was just Skratch and was wandering with intent. "I'm bored, I'm bored, I'm bored," muttered the Wabbit through his 28 teeth. "You're telling me," said a deep voice. The Wabbit looked around sharply because he had become so wrapped in his own complaints that had failed to noticed a Big Blue Snail. "I didn't notice you there," said the Wabbit. "I find that hard to believe," said the Snail. "Don't let me jive you, Daddy-o," said the Wabbit in a curious manner. He hunched his shoulders and thrust his front paws deep in his fur. "I was missing my adventures, that's all," he added apologetically and scuffed the street with a back paw. "I've been queuing here for a fortnight," said the Snail. "What's in there?" asked the Wabbit. "The Museum of Natural History." replied the Snail with a dismissive tone. "Oh," said the Wabbit and then he thought for some time. Finally he spoke. "Look, Mr Snail, we can see more natural history here in the street than in a stuffy building full of stuffed beings." "Perhaps I could slide along with you for a while," said the Snail. "You could do worse," said the Wabbit.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
The Wabbit, Lapinette and Skratch assembled at the Museum of Antiquities and the Wabbit produced two ancient keys from his fur. Lapinette held the box and the Wabbit turned the first key once to the right, then the second key twice to the left. With a faint creak, the lid twirled twice to the right, once to the left and then folded neatly back. From his perch, Skratch could see a golden glow spread across the Wabbit's face, then Lapinette's. Suddenly, he started to tremble as he saw an object rise from the box. It was so bright that they all wanted to look away but they couldn't turn their eyes aside as a fabulous bejeweled Wabbit began to take shape. It became bigger and bigger, shining like the sun - then suddenly with a click, it settled back into the stonework. And for all the world, it looked as if it had always been there. The Wabbit spoke. "This is the Ancient Bejeweled Wabbit. It is said that it came from Wablantis, but no-one knows for sure. We do know it was stolen by the accursed Agents of Rabit." "Worth a bit," said Skratch who had recovered. "Here it shall safely remain," said the Wabbit firmly and grinned. "Doesn't that look a bit like you?" said Skratch to Lapinette, "over there on the frieze." "Whatever gave you that idea?" Lapinette retorted. "What would have happened if the keys were turned the wrong way?" asked Skratch. "Kaboom!" said the Wabbit.
Friday, August 19, 2011
The Wabbit ordered carrot aperitivi and Skratch chose iced milk, laced with something from the bar. "What an adventure," said the Wabbit, "thank you Skratch for your burglarous ways and thank you for the helichopper, Lap." Skratch and Lapinette smiled broadly and said that it was nothing, nothing at all. If only they could do it every day. "What about the box?" asked Skratch. "Oh the box, yes the box," said the Wabbit mysteriously. "All will be revealed, but first we must enjoy ourselves and then I will show you what's in the box." Skratch looked peeved but Lapinette winked and nudged the Wabbit. "So lets begin," she said. ""Begin what?" said the Wabbit. "Enjoying ourselves," said Lapinette. "We will," said the Wabbit, "I hear music. May I ask you to dance, Contessa." "I believe I have first refusal," said Skratch. The Wabbit looked round. "Why don't we all dance Monster Mash?" And then with a sudden leap he hopped up and around and around. "A Graveyard Smash!" sang Skratch and joined him. Lapinette flashed her eyes and warbled, "I'll catch on in a flash!" She jumped up too and they all joined paws and danced in a circle. And they laughed and laughed and laughed.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
"Brake!" shouted Skratch as the train sped faster and faster. "Hit the grippers!" he yelled. The Wabbit looked at the controls. "Lever, switch or button?" whispered the Wabbit through gritted teeth. His paws itched uncontrollably. "Now would be good," muttered Skratch and he crouched down as the the wind tore at his fur. "Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy," said the Wabbit, who seldom used a standard phrase if it could be altered. "Hurry up, we're going to die," screamed Skratch. "That's not how it ends," said the Wabbit. He took one long look at the most interesting lever and hopped back. Then with an astonishing combination of brute force and ignorance he swung his most powerful hind leg and it connected with a sickening thud. Nothing happened and the train continued its plunge. Skratch looked at the Wabbit. The Wabbit looked back, wrinkled his nose and held a paw to his ear. An apologetic "snick," from the lever was followed by an eerie silence. There was a groan, a whine and a crunch and then, with a sudden bang, a shower of sparks erupted from the wheels as the brakes gripped. Skratch and the Wabbit lurched forward and back as the train rolled mildly into the station and came to a halt with a wheeze, one single solitary centimetre from the buffers. "The secret of my success," said the Wabbit, "is never say die."
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
"This is not a fast train!" shouted the Wabbit. "Faster than us, especially without the brakes," yelled Skratch. The train picked up speed on the incline and rattled through the tunnel with the chief ghoul in close pursuit. They hardly dared to turn around. They could feel his dank breath and shrill cries and they willed the small train to go faster because he was gaining ground. Suddenly, the train shot out of the tunnel and into the light. "I can hear something weird," shouted Skratch. "I know that sound. it's an Agusta-Bell AB 412," said the Wabbit with excitement. Skratch looked at the Wabbit with horror. "I'm open to correction," grinned the Wabbit. "Duck!" shouted Skratch. Lasers seared the air above their heads as Lapinette fired twice at the ghoul. The ghoul screamed and screamed and his voice was like a rasping saw. "Yah boo. Who you?" he sneered. Lapinette's eyes briefly met his as she calmly resighted and with the press of a button her lasers split his ghastly head asunder. Shattered pieces of skull rolled down the hillside, leaving only smoke and a lingering acrid smell. "You don't see that every day," said Skratch and waved at Lapinette. The Wabbit dug Skratch hard in the ribs. "Just one thing," he said. "Ouch, what's that?" said Skratch. "About the brakes on the train?" asked the Wabbit.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Holding fiercely onto the ancient box, the Wabbit hopped down the staircase as quick as he could possibly hop. Going down seemed much further than going up and the Wabbit was anxious not to miss a pawhold on the worn steps. The ghouls shrieked and moaned and made the most awful din - and as they did, they cursed the Wabbit. They yelled that they would chisel his name on a tombstone and then argued about the spelling. They screamed they would drag him to hell but it was full. But most of all they shouted that he was a scared wabbit and that he should run and this annoyed the Wabbit so much that he vowed that they would shortly meet their doom. And for every step he crashed down, he named a ghoul and mentally placed it on a list. Then he vowed to cross them all off his list one by one and he bared his 28 teeth in a menacing smile. He clung to the box and closed his ears to their taunts. He could see the ground floor and the door from the basilica to the outside world loomed large. He made one long final leap and zig zagged across the courtyard in sudden, rapid darts that sent gravel flying. Startled birds flew up with a terrible flapping of wings but the Wabbit heard a voice above the noise. "Over here Wabbit," shouted Skratch.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Hoping that Skratch had done his job, the Wabbit loped quickly up the winding staircase and hopped onto the roof. "Catch," shouted Skratch. The Wabbit gasped as the box came spiraling across the rooftop. He clasped it to his chest in the manner of a goalkeeper and made a small "oof" as he shoved it deep into his fur, He coud hear Skratch calling as he skittered across the tiles. "They're coming and they don't look pleased!" yelled Skratch and he disappeared over the edge of the parapet. "No time," thought the Wabbit to himself, "I must be on my way." He bounded across the roof, but when he got to the staircase door, he took one look over his shoulder. They seemed to appear from nowhere. Their eyes bulged and their teeth grimaced and they moved at the speed of light. "Give us back our box, Wabbit" they wailed in unison. "Give us back our box or we will take it from you." "And we will take you as well," howled the leader of the ghastly band. His voice changed to a gargling rasp. "For fun and profit!" "The Wabbit had no time for smart dialogue such as this. He began to descend a staircase that trembled with every piercing shriek.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Wabbit didn't even think about how he was going to get in. But he knew one thing. He knew he had the element of surprise if and only if he cartwheeled. He hadn't cartwheeled in some considerable time, but his recorded speeds were exceptonal. So the Wabbit assumed the position and then, with one mighty bound, he whirled across the courtyard and up the steps of the old basilica. "It is funny," thought the Wabbit as he cartwheeeled, "that one's brain functions well in cartwheel mode." The Wabbit thought a lot of strange things in moments of pressure. "They will certainly see something coming, but they may not know it's me. And even if they do know it's me, they won't know what do," he thought. With the aid of his Marchionne brakes, the Wabbit came to a dead stop in front of the ancient door and looked about. There was dead silence and nothing moved. But he could feel many pairs of eyes watching him through the still air and the eyes were watchful and sinister and their stares prickled his fur. He kicked the door with his hind leg and the door groaned in protest. "Open up forthwith in the name of the Department of Wabbit Affairs," he shouted and kicked the door again for good measure. Answer came there none, which the Wabbit thought was scarcely odd. On his right he spotted an open window and a winding staircase. "I'll take the scenic route," thought the Wabbit.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Skratch as always kept to the roof, but the Wabbit loped out along the platform. "How shall we proceed?" asked Skratch. "You take the back," said the Wabbit. "Locate the box and retrieve it." "What about you?" said Skratch. "I'm hopping in the front," said the Wabbit. "Why?" said Skratch. "They won't be expecting me to come in the front," the Wabbit responded quickly. "They'll see it but they won't believe it. Whilst they rub their eyes in disbelief, the box will be ours. Don't open it whatever you do." Skratch looked down at the Wabbit "I still want to know what's in the box." "It really doesn't matter what's in the box," said the Wabbit. "The important thing is that there is a box. They have it and we do not have it." Skratch began to look glazed. "What colour is the box?" he asked finally. "Grey," said the Wabbit. "All boxes look grey in the dark," said Skratch and chuckled. "It's hot up here," he added. "Shall we synchronise watches?" "Five past tea time," said the Wabbit. "Five past tea time," said Skratch, "let's go!" "Be seeing you," said the Wabbit. Then they both vanished. And another little girl on the train said to her mother "I saw a wabbit and a cat synchronise watches!" The mother smiled at her proudly and lifted her and showed her all around. "Tell everyone about the wabbit and the cat you made up," she simpered.
Saturday, August 06, 2011
Like any normal tourists, the Wabbit and Skratch took the funicular railway to the top of the mountain. Skratch, however, preferred to travel on the roof. "I can see more," he told the Wabbit, "and I can always jump off in the case of an emergency." "Are you expecting an emergency?" asked the Wabbit. "Not really," said Skratch and disappeared. The Wabbit looked all round. It was a quiet day and passengers were few. The Wabbit fretted. He would have preferred the cover of a mixed group of travellers and he looked out of the window. In the distance he could see the approach of several foreign visitors, three mothers with babies in buggies, a man with a suitcase and a punk rocker wearing a studded collar. "Perfect, no-one will ever notice me," thought the Wabbit and settled unobtrusively into his bench. He could hear Skratch stretching on the metal roof and he hoped that no-one else could. The guard closed the doors officiously, the driver pulled a lever and the train lurched forward. The way was steep and suddenly the train seemed to climb vertically. A passenger became very flustered. "On funiculars, I worry the whole way that the train will crash down the mountainside," he moaned. There was a resounding snort and guffaws from Skratch on the roof. "What was that?" said a child. "Mice," said the Wabbit.
Thursday, August 04, 2011
The Wabbit replaced the waiter as arranged and waited for his contact. He was unsurprised when he saw his sometime adversary Scratch, since his mission papers indicated the use of Skratch's particular skills. Skratch waved a paw frantically and the Wabbit started a coded exchange. "Buongiorno Signor Gatto, what may I get you?" "I will have a cappuccino," said Skratch. "We do not serve cappuccino after 11 a.m.,” said the Wabbit and effected disapproval. “I am a cat and have special dietary requirements," said Skratch. "In that case," said the Wabbit, "I will serve you an espresso and a saucer of milk on the side." "That will do nicely," purred Skratch,"will you froth it lightly?" The Wabbit turned and pulled many levers. Then he pushed a few buttons, scrutinised some dials and rattled some cups for dramatic effect. The cafe filled with sounds of burbling and hissing and a delicious coffee smell floated in the air. Under cover of the noise, Skratch and the Wabbit bent their heads together." "The box is well guarded,” said Skratch. "I will create a diversion," said the Wabbit," while you retrieve the box.” "What kind of a diversion?" asked Skratch. The Wabbit didn't really know because he hadn't thought of one. He nodded sagely. "Oh, don't worry Skratch. You do your job and you'll know when it happens.” "What's in the box?" asked Skratch. The Wabbit hadn't the foggiest notion about that either so he pretended to think for a while. "Something importantly important," he said finally.
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
"New orders for you have just come in from HQ," said Lapinette. "Then I must fly," said the Wabbit. "I'll requisition a helichopper," said Lapinette and wiggled her ears and listened. "It's waiting at Piazza Piero Della Francesca," she said. It was only a short hop and the Wabbit climbed on board. "A little cramped around here for my liking," said Lapinettte as she took off vertically to a hover and banked off at maximum peformance. All of the Wabbit's 28 teeth rattled furiously. "How do you do that with no paws," chattered the Wabbit. "It's a military secret," replied Lapinette. "I have top wabbit-1 clearance," said the Wabbit. "This is born secret," said Lapinette. "Oh really," said the Wabbit and sulked briefly. "I'll drop you off at the target zone. You're on your own from there," instructed Lapinette. "Nothing new then," thought the Wabbit and looked at his papers. It was complicated. A copy of La Stampa was marked with pinpricks in the animal section, La Zampa, and the Wabbit had to match the third letter in each article with a number. That corresponded with paragraphs in Schrödinger's Wabbits: The Many Worlds of Quantum. "Phew," said the Wabbit and decoded. Roo fto psat Su pe rga Dom esta irf ind bur nb ox. "I'll need a full body harness," said the Wabbit. "Ooooh," said Lapinette.