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
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
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
“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
Friday, November 25, 2011
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
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
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.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The Wabbit was hopping on the roof of his favourite ruin, when he heard a piercing cry. "Oooooh, frighten, haunt!" wailed an apparition from the sky. The Wabbit was startled but rapidly recovered when he saw who it was. "Oh, hello Ghost Bunny, I'm terrified!" screamed the Wabbit. "I tried to haunt your 400 warriors and was met with jokes and ribaldry," said Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit scowled because he doted on Ghost Bunny. "They couldn't accept your haunting beauty," he murmured. ”Well I came up here to practice," said Ghost Bunny, firmly. "Excellent swoop!" said the Wabbit. Ghost Bunny span and turned into a pyramid and turned back. "Before Rome, you are to go on a hush-hush mission," she said. "How do you know?” asked the Wabbit. "I heard it on the astral plane," said Ghost Bunny. "The astral plane!" exclaimed the Wabbit. "Did you meet the controversial cosmologist Rupert Sheldrake?" "Yes," said Ghost Bunny. "He says he doesn’t mind his leg being pulled but he objects to it being stabbed." "Bad business," said the Wabbit and he shook his head at all the routine leg stabbing in the world. "I don't want this mission," he said in a low voice. "I'll lose my temper." "What’s that like for you?" asked Ghost Bunny. "I hop up and down and my ears flail and knock thing over," said the Wabbit. "What soothes you?" asked Ghost Bunny. "Salad sandwiches" said the Wabbit,. "Then think of salad sandwiches," said Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit thought of salad sandwiches and he felt calm. "You're adorable," Ghost Bunny," said the Wabbit.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
The massed wabbits hopped formally forward in a zig-zag movement, and each time they hopped they made a thunderous crash that shook the girders of the building. "Where did you find them?" whispered Lapinette. "My appointment comes with a small private guard," said the Wabbit. "Where does it say that?" asked Lapinette sceptically. "It's in the small print," said the Wabbit. "They're all dressed like you!" laughed Lapinette. "Isn't it embarrassing?" said the Wabbit, although he was secretly pleased. They both turned at a mighty cry from the wabbits as they smashed to a halt. Lapinette looked lovingly at the Wabbit. "Proceed," she smiled. The Wabbit turned to face the massed ranks of wabbits and raised a paw in salute. "How many are we?" he shouted. "We are four hundred!" came the reply. "And what are our just demands?" yelled the Wabbit. "Land, Peace, Hay!" cried the wabbits in unison. "And a few carrots," muttered the Wabbit under his breath. Lapinette dug the Wabbit sharply in the ribs. "Ouch," squealed the Wabbit. "Ouch!" cried all the wabbits. Lapinette hid her head behind her ears and giggled. "Where are they going?" she asked. "They're going to march to the Brek Restaurant, where they are obliged to drink copious quantities of carrot aperitivi," said the Wabbit with glee. "Won't they frighten people?" said Lapinette. "They certainly frighten me," said the Wabbit.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
The Wabbit was hopping past his favourite abandoned shed when heard the sound of a military vehicle and a shout. "Commander, Sir!" "Oh, hello Franco," said the Wabbit with affection. "You’re looking a lot better than the last time we met." "One hundred per cent fit for duty, Sir" said Franco. "You look like a marmittone with these wheels," joked the Wabbit. Franco laughed. "We're a couple of old marmittoni, Sir," he said. "I'll tell that to Lapinette," chuckled the Wabbit. "How is the Marchesa?" asked Franco. "She's having her ears smoothed," said the Wabbit. "She is such a lady, Sir" said Franco. "I fear the non-commissioned ranks have pictures of her in their barracks." "So do I" said the Wabbit. They both chuckled for a while."Where did you get the Fiat Campagnola?" asked the Wabbit. "I didn't make a requisition." "Skratch got it from the Motor Museum for our Rome trip," said Franco. The Wabbit looked concerned. "It was surplus to requirements, Sir," said Franco. "They were going to throw it away. It's all Hummers in there now." "Disgraceful!" said the Wabbit. He thought for a minute and there was a pause and a silence. "Franco," said the Wabbit soothingly. "This is an informal chat, so stand easy and chew the carrot." "Yes Sir," said Franco. "Now try saying "Yes Wabbit,"" said the Wabbit. "Yes Sir, Wabbit Sir," said Franco. "Try again and don't say "Sir" at all," said the Wabbit. Franco's forehead creased with effort. "Yes Wabbit ..." Franco's voice dropped and he said "Sir" under his breath. "I heard you," said the Wabbit. "I know Sir," smiled Franco.
marmittone: sprog, rookie, naive recruit
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
"Hello Wabbit, Are you taking a constitutional hop?" said a voice. The Wabbit was hopping along his favourite mountain path and he turned round. "Hello Puma!" he said and he stretched out a tentative paw to stroke Puma's back. "I must say, your fur is particularly sleek today," said the Wabbit. "I know, I've just had it done by a lovely little man in the Via Nizza." purred Puma. "He does Puma fur?" asked the Wabbit. "He's an equal opportunities barber," said Puma. The Wabbit wanted to laugh but he composed himself. "How do you two communicate?" he asked. "He speaks Puma, listen!" Puma made a series of long and short growls and ended with a truncated screech. "What’s that?" said the Wabbit. "Does Sir require a hot towel?" said Puma. "And did you require one?" asked the Wabbit "Definitely, it's the best bit," said Puma and he wriggled his neck and stretched. When he'd finished stretching, which took some considerable time, he sat up. "What's the deal with this camp in Rome business?" he said suddenly. "I'm arranging something,” said the Wabbit. "I hope so," said Puma. "I've already booked a tour of the Coliseum." "Puma, they're used to you here," said the Wabbit. "What will they think in Rome when you prowl down the street?” "When I prowl down the street," said Puma, "I'm in charge."
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The Wabbit was having fun in his favourite park when he heard a voice. "Keep off the grass, Wabbit!" The Wabbit peered around his favourite pillar. "Oh, hello Snail," he smiled. "I am duly obliged to hop on the grass, since I am a Wabbit." "I heard we're going to Rome," said Snail. "There's no "we" about it," said the Wabbit. "It's a hush-hush secret Christmas mission." "We could construct a temporary camp," said Snail. "A change is good as a rest." The Wabbit thought rest was unlikely where Snail was involved. "How would you get there?" asked the Wabbit "I would hitch hike," said Snail. "And how would you signal your request for a lift?" said the Wabbit. "I would hook a single antenna and wiggle it," said Snail. The Wabbit tried to visualise the scene and gave up quickly. He fidgeted and hopped up and down and he thought and thought. "There might be a place I know," said the Wabbit. "It's near the Vatican." "Near the Vatican," echoed Snail with delight. "What's it really like?" "Nothing special," said the Wabbit. "Just a bunch of Pontiffs on scooters." "I'd like a scooter," said Snail. "Then you shall have one," said the Wabbit and he pulled from his fur a requisition order. The Wabbit scribbled for a while and whistled through his teeth. "One scooter, blue, ordered" he said finally. "Isn't the Department short of cash?" puzzled Snail. "I put everything through the contingency fund," said the Wabbit. "Isn't the contingency fund for contingencies?" asked Snail. "Everything's a contingency," said the Wabbit.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
The Wabbit looked at the box of stuff and he hopped up and down. "What are you building, Ghost Bunny?" he asked. "Is everything here?" said Ghost Bunny. "And some extra bits," said Lapinette. "We managed to get a multipactor tube." "That will do nicely," said Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit was frustrated and hopped over to Skratch. "What's she building Skratch?" he asked. "My code name today, is Klaw the Cat Crook," said Skratch. "OK, OK," said the Wabbit. "What's she building, Klaw?" "Sparkle knows what she's doing," said Skratch. "Sparkle?" said the Wabbit. "Sparkle," responded Skratch. The Wabbit hopped back to the box. "Is there a truck hire charge, Klaw?" he asked loudly in an unsuccessful attempt to take charge. "I did a deal with the pet shop," said Skratch and pawed his nose. "What is Sparkle building, Lapinette? I mean Trixie," said the Wabbit. "I trust Sparkle," said Lapinette. "Whatever she's building, it's for everyone's good." Ghost Bunny looked directly at the Wabbit and winked. "Do you have a universal tool kit, Bunny?" she said. "I always have one in my fur," replied the Wabbit. "Then we won't delay," said Ghost Bunny and she fluttered upwards, adopting the manner of a quiz show host. "Shall we open the box or ...?" she yelled. "Or ...?" everyone hollered back. "Or take the money?" she shouted. Skratch nudged the Wabbit and Lapinette threw her arms in the air. "Open the Box!" they cheered.
Friday, November 11, 2011
"Psst!" said a voice. The Wabbit and Lovely Lapinette looked round. "Anything I can help you with?" said a metal spectre. "What sort of help?" said the Wabbit suspiciously. "Help to get difficult-to-get things," said the spectre. "Yes," said Lapinette, enthusiastically. The Wabbit frowned but he named the first thing on the list as a test. "Four spherical diodes," said the Wabbit. "Plenty in stock," said the metal spectre. "You can have eight for the price of four." "A lithium blanket," said Lapinette. "Ooooh," said the spectre. "For that you need a special license." "And how do we obtain one of these special licenses?" said Lapinette slyly. "I can acquire one instantly for a suitable price," said the spectre and he flicked a switch on his metal chest and produced a license. "OK," said Lapinette. "But only if you can throw in a box of superconducting magnets." "You'll need a multipactor tube," said the spectre. "Oh I don't know, really,” said Lapinette and she shook her head. "It’s on special offer," said the Spectre. "For today only." "I think we already have one in the shed," said Lapinette, with indifference. "Half price in anticipation of future business," said the spectre. "It's a deal," said Lapinette. "How will you take delivery?" asked the spectre. "We'll come to you," said the Wabbit, who was glad to get a word in. "Metal Michele," said the spectre and offered a spectral hand. The Wabbit thought for a minute. "I am ... the Bunny," he said and smiled warmly. Then he glanced at Lapinette and his smile turned into a malicious grin. "This is Trixie," he said. "Trixie Beaujolais," simpered Lapinette.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
The Wabbit and Lapinette had gone shopping for supplies. "We need a lot of cash to replace everything lost in the flood," said Lapinette.”Now, I have a card here in my fur for that sort of thing," said the Wabbit and he rummaged for a long time. Lapinette looked at him knowingly, "It’s in your other coat," she sighed. "No no," said the Wabbit. "It goes with this coat." "You have a debit card for different coats?" gasped Lapinette "Doesn't everyone?" said the Wabbit and he finally pulled a green plastic card from his fur. Lapinette took the card and hopped up to the machine. "You don't know my secret number," said the Wabbit. "I can make a guess," said Lapinette. "Watch this!" And she hopped straight into the air. On her way up, Lapinette put the card in the slot and on the way down she typed numbers onto the pad. There was a clicking and a long, long whirring. Suddenly a lot of money tumbled from the dispenser and Lapinette swept it up and it vanished. "How do you know my number?" said the Wabbit, frowning. "It's the date of the Great Wabbit Uprising," said Lapinette. "How many people know that?" exclaimed the Wabbit "Well, I know that," said Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "What's first on the list?" he asked. "Skratch wants a grappling hook and Ghost Bunny requires a number of electronic components." said Lapinette. "What's she building," puzzled the Wabbit. It was Lapinette's turn to shake her head. "Costs a lot," she murmured. The Wabbit's eyes gleamed. "Let's go!" he said.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
At the Big Hospital's flood relief centre, the friends were all allocated colourful rugs. Even Ghost Bunny managed to find a ghostly rug and she fluttered around with it. "What about the flood, Sir?" said Franco from under his Alpini hat. "When it abates, we will return," said the Wabbit. "We'll dry everything out and make sure you have a watertight base." "I'm concerned about the Pet Shop in Corso Svizzera," said Skratch. "All that dried food must have expanded right out into the street and stopped the traffic." Lapinette put her paw in front of her mouth to hide a smile because she knew that Skratch had some crafty supply deal with the Pet Shop. "Perhaps that wouldn't be a bad thing," said the Wabbit. "These floods might be caused by global warming." "It didn't feel very warm," said Puma who was still shivering. "It was cold and wet and horrid," said Snail, munching a cardboard tray. "I saw it coming but it was too late," said Ghost Bunny. "Suddenly the river came over the bank and ran straight at us." "Like it was alive," said Puma and he growled softly. "It's the River Dora. I think Dora means "to run"" said Lapinette. "It took a good run at us," said Snail. "Start again sir!" interrupted Franco Contadino and he pushed his hat back. "We can find you somewhere temporary, Franco," said the Wabbit reassuringly. "Rather not, Sir. Hop straight on, Sir," said Franco and he coughed a bit. "You could have done without this Franco." said the Wabbit. "You need a proper examination." "I'll get Doctor Stefano to check you out," said Lapinette and she headed for the lift. "The stairs are quicker," shouted the Wabbit.
Monday, November 07, 2011
"We're over here," shouted Skratch and he waved frantically as the flood rose around him. The Wabbit’s radio crackled. "Disaster Control to Commander Wabbit. You haven't much time, so get out now!" "Not before everyone's on board," muttered the Wabbit under his breath. "Rendezvous at the Big White Hospital. Out," hissed the radio. “Copy that," said the Wabbit to himself. Lapinette threw out the ladder and Skratch grabbed the end and pulled Franco towards him. "Where's my hat?" gasped Franco. "Ghost Bunny's got it for goodness sake," said Skratch and he propelled Franco up the ladder. "What about Snail?" yelled the Wabbit. Lapinette looked across at Ghost Bunny and shouted at the top of her voice.”Tell Snail to climb to the roof, we'll pick him up there!" The sound of the torrent seized her words and mangled them, but somehow Snail heard. "On my way," he shouted. "I've ever seen a snail move that fast," shouted the Wabbit to Lapinette. With everyone on board the Wabbit lifted the helichopper over the trees and then dropped it back down on the Padiglione roof. Lapinette threw open the cargo door and Snail somehow hopped in. "I thought you liked the wet," smiled the Wabbit. "I have a limit," said Snail. "Get us out of here!" The Wabbit lifted the helichopper vertically, wheeled and flew across the city towards the Big White Hospital. “Wabbit to Control," said the Wabbit into the radio. "We're on our way. Five cosy blankets, one extra large please." "Anything else?” said a tired voice. "Seven hot refreshments," replied the Wabbit. "On a cardboard tray," said Snail.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Saturday, November 05, 2011
Friday, November 04, 2011
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
The Wabbit and Lovely Lapinette were hopping past the Porta Palatina, chatting as they hopped. "So," said Lapinette, "you told me about your journey, but little of your Goddess." "Demi-Goddess," said the Wabbit, "she was wonderful." Lapinette stopped hopping and turned. "And did this wonderful Demi-Goddess have a name?" she asked. "Lapnet," said the Wabbit. "Oh," said Lapinette and she pondered for a minute. "So what was she like?" she asked. The Wabbit thought it best to pay attention and said, "She was completely proper and formal as a Goddess should be." "Demi-Goddess," said Lapinette and she thought deeply. "Tell me, what was she wearing?" she said eventually. "Oh nothing much," said the Wabbit defensively and he cringed when he saw Lapinette's expression. "What I mean is that she had a short Greek dress with a waist tightly cinched by a silver belt." Lapinette glared but the Wabbit was in full flight and couldn't stop. "And she was garbed in white with blue flowers and the whole outfit was topped with a shoulder clasp." "A shoulder clasp?" hissed Lapinette. "To hold everything up." said the Wabbit weakly and he winced. There was a long silence. "What was I wearing yesterday?" asked Lapinette suddenly. "The usual ...? " queried the Wabbit hesitantly. As his voice trailed off, his head sank into his fur and his teeth became quite rigid. So he closed his eyes and wished he had never uttered a word. Then he felt a paw under his chin and he carefully opened a single eye to see Lapinette smiling sweetly. "I was winding you up," she laughed.