Terni the Food Dragon took the Wabbit at his word and headed directly to a restaurant in Turin. And the Wabbit was as good as his word because he immediately ordered an artisan beer, made in Terni’s homeland of Umbria. "What’s new?" called a voice. They both turned their heads to see Lapinette hopping quickly across to their table. "Well, hello fair damsel," said Terni and flapped his cabbage wings. Lapinette wasn’t certain about being called a damsel, but she smiled sweetly. "Are you’re the Dragon that flew across restricted airspace?" " I’m afraid so," sighed Terni. "Twenty times," added Lapinette. Terni grinned. "Am in I trouble?" "I reported UFOs," said Lapinette." "I suppose I am one," said Terni and looked at his beer. "They don’t mind dragons here?" he asked. "They’re very inclusive," said the Wabbit. "I even see Befana the benevolent witch in here." "Haven’t seen her for hundreds of years," said Terni. "She comes every day," said the Wabbit, "and if I’m here she gives me candy." "I prefer beer," said Terni. "You’ve had three already," warned the Wabbit and he searched in his fur for more lunch vouchers, only to find them stuck to some old sweets. "Wasn’t Terni supposed to get a barrel of beer as part of his transfer fee," observed Lapinette. "I forgot!" moaned the Wabbit and he slapped a sticky paw to his forehead. Terni fluttered his wings. "Who’s that fellow behind us?" "Just a cardboard cut out," said the Wabbit, "he’s advertising a loyalty card." "I’m loyal," said Terni. "Then I’ll just take your details," said the cut-out.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The Wabbit merely turned the bag upside down and the talking bomb dropped out, singing the while. "Everybody’s worried, about that talking bomb," sang the bomb, "but no-one ever worries about . .." It never finished the verse. Four successive detonations boomed over the waves and the shock wave drove the dragon back on a course to home. "Boom, boom!" yelled the Wabbit. "Boom boom," said Terni the dragon in a nonchalant fashion. "We have turbulence, Dragon Heavy" shouted the Wabbit. "Pay no attention," said Terni as he zoomed inland. The Wabbit remained silent and for a while, all he could hear was the wind tearing at his fur. "Do you have any enemies?" The Wabbit could always hear Terni’s deep voice above anything the elements could offer. "Would you care to scan one of my lists?" replied the Wabbit. "Is it awfully long?" enquired Terni. "With several sub sections," said the Wabbit. "My goodness, do you always live in this adventurous manner?" asked Terni. "Sometimes we all stop for an aperitivo," said the Wabbit brightly. "Mine’s beer," said Terni. "The choice is yours," said the Wabbit, "my treat." Terni considered the matter. "Suddenly, food shopping seems a little dull," he said. The Department can always use a dragon on special secondment," said the Wabbit, secretly wondering how many meals he would have to buy to obtain the appropriate authority. "I’ll go through your list," said Terni, "and get your enemies down." "We’d all like that," chortled the Wabbit.
Friday, September 21, 2012
The Wabbit and Terni the food dragon soared across the countryside, carrying the talking bomb towards the sea. And all the way the bomb chattered incessantly. "Is there any way you can shut it up?" shouted Terni. "Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road," sang the bomb. "I don’t want to fiddle with it," yelled the Wabbit. "I’ll be glad to get rid of it," moaned Terni. "Vamos a la playa, aha ha ha ha!" sang the bomb. "Aaaaaagh," shouted Terni, "it’s doing my head in." "Only a little bit further," urged the Wabbit. "Out to sea a few kilometres and we’ll hear it no more." "How do you propose to get rid of it?" queried Terni. "I’ll just dump it," said the Wabbit. "Not with my bag you won’t," grimaced Terni. "I’ll get you a new bag," said the Wabbit. "Be so good as to save my brand new bag," uttered Terni. The Wabbit began to feel the bag carefully and started to turn it. But the bomb felt the movement and it sang even more. "I’m for ever blowing bubbles," sang the bomb, "pretty bubbles in the air." "We ought to join in with this one," said the Wabbit. "How does it go?" said Terni. "Like this," said the Wabbit and he started to sing. "He’ll fly so high, nearly reach the sky." The Wabbit warbled at the top of his voice. "Then like his dreams he’ll fade and die!" "I’m up for it," said Terni and he banked steeply and headed out over the water.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The Wabbit gingerly lifted the object and held it tightly to his chest. "It’s ticking," said Terni the food dragon. "It is," said the Wabbit. "It has wires," said Terni. It does," said the Wabbit. "It looks like a bomb to me," ventured Terni. "It appears that way," said the Wabbit, "but I can’t read that writing, can you?" Terni scrunched up his eyes. "It says ... a present for the Wabbit." "How thoughtful," said the Wabbit. "Anything else?" "Made in China," said Terni. "Everything is, nowadays," mused the Wabbit and he listened closely to the ticking. Terni waited for what seemed like an age. "I think we have some time," said the Wabbit finally, "so pass me that bag." Terni gave his newly acquired shopping bag to the Wabbit and the Wabbit carefully placed the bomb inside. "Can’t hang around here, can we?" said Terni. "No, not a good idea," said the Wabbit gravely. "I’ve always wanted to be swiftly deployed," murmured Terni. "You've got your wish Terni," said the Wabbit "Grip me firmly and airlift us out." With lightning speed, Terni's talons closed on the Wabbit’s fur and in one sweep of his cabbage winds they were airborne. "Which way?" asked Terni. "Fregene and the sea," gasped the Wabbit. "I quite like the seaside," chatted Terni. "Is someone out to get you by any chance?" Suddenly the bomb spoke and they could hear its electronic whine above the wind. ”In the beginning, there was darkness," said the bomb, "and the darkness was without form, and void." "Oh do shut up!" shouted Terni and he shot into the sky.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
The Wabbit and Terni the food dragon arrived at San Silverio Market and Terni had a good prowl round. "This is more like it," said Terni and looked about for cabbage leaves. "You’ll like it here," said the Wabbit. "The traders are most friendly and will no doubt reach an agreement regarding your beer." "They won’t mind a food dragon?" asked Terni. "They don’t mind anyone here," said the Wabbit firmly. "Then I would like to make a purchase," said Terni. "Speak to that young woman there," suggested the Wabbit. Terni lifted his head. "Excuse me young woman," he called. The woman turned. "How can I help you father?" she smiled. Terni was quite smitten and nudged the Wabbit. "I like it here," he said and turned back. "I am looking for a bag," he ventured. "Any particular sort?" asked the woman. "It must be green and capacious enough for my food shopping," said Terni. "Va bene," said the woman and rummaged through the bags on her stall. "And it should have a small inner pocket for my change," added Terni, "and when empty, it must fold into a small pocket of its own." The woman produced a bag and Terni scrutinised the seams closely. "That will do nicely," he said. "One euro," said the woman. "A bargain!" said Terni to the Wabbit. "I’m so pleased," said the Wabbit, "but do you see that strange thing over there?" "Where?" said Terni squinting into the sun. "Oh yes I do see it, let’s take a closer look." "Go easy Terni," said the Wabbit. "No sudden noise and no vibration." Cautiously, Terni and the Wabbit inched closer to the object ...
Saturday, September 15, 2012
The Wabbit hopped along to the new Testaccio market, not far away. Terni the food dragon spotted him easily and swooped down to join him. They both looked around and at first glance, the Wabbit knew it wasn’t as bad as he had expected. But the Wabbit had a clear idea of what a market should be like. He felt the new building was far too regimented and not very exciting. He wanted to scruff it up a bit and rummage around. There were no old records or magazines and everything was so spotless it seemed sterile. The dragon watched the Wabbit quietly shake his head for some time and saw his ears flap up and down. Finally the Wabbit spoke. "Markets," quoted the Wabbit, "should be medieval in character and have limpidity." The dragon fluttered his wings. "What’s limpidity?" he asked. "Unambiguous. Transparent. Clear and easy to understand," said the Wabbit. "Like me," said the dragon. "Dragons are limpid by nature," said the Wabbit. "Not like you then, Wabbit?" stated the dragon, "Regretfully no," said the Wabbit. "No offence," said Terni the dragon. "None taken," said the Wabbit and he paused to consider the matter of markets. Suddenly an idea flashed into the Wabbit’s head and he smiled broadly at Terni. "What about a transfer?" "To a new market?" asked Terni. "Exactly!" said the Wabbit. "Will there be a transfer fee?" shrieked Terni with delight. "We’ll negotiate something," said the Wabbit. "15 kilograms of cabbage," said Terni. "Anything else?" grinned the Wabbit. Terni folded his wings back, thought deeply, then made his decision. "I want a barrel of beer." "Now, that’s limpid!" yelled the Wabbit.
Friday, September 14, 2012
The Wabbit was horrified to see Testaccio Market and stared at the food dragon. "What’s happened here?" he asked, "because this was a vibrant place full of hustle and bustle and people selling stuff." "They closed it," said the food dragon. "They can’t!" said the Wabbit and he stamped his hind leg in disgust. "There’s a new market of concrete and lights and niche products," said the dragon, "and they have no room for a food dragon like me." The Wabbit stamped his foot again. "They would not embrace your difference," he shouted. "I’m used to it," said the dragon. "There was once a saint who tried to make me mild." A ferocious heat emerged from the dragon's tongue and it singed the Wabbit's fur, so the Wabbit hopped back slightly. "How did that make you feel?" he said, smoothing his fur with both paws. "Angry!" roared the dragon. Everything rattled. "I suggest you forgive him," said the Wabbit. "No!" roared the dragon. "Say it," said the Wabbit. "Say what?" said the dragon. "I forgive the saint." repeated the Wabbit. "I can't," said the dragon. "Try," urged the Wabbit. The dragon fluttered his wings and quietly murmured, "I forgive him." "Can’t hear you," said the Wabbit. "I forgive him!" roared the dragon and the Wabbit hopped back once more. "How do you feel now?" he asked. "Mildly irritated," said the dragon. The Wabbit bared a 28 toothed grin. "My work is nearly done!" he smiled. "Now let’s take a look at this awful market. What’s your name, by the way?" "Terni," said the dragon. "Come on Terni, let’s see what the planners have done." "Wabbit, what do planners eat?" asked Terni. "Their words, usually," said the Wabbit.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
"Whoah hooah!" said the Wabbit as the food dragon whisked him into the sky and past the Vatican dome. The Wabbit's ears were firmly in the grip of the dragon’s talons and the air tore at his fur as they flew across the rooftops. "Where precisely is your destination?" asked the Dragon. "Testaccio Market," yelled the Wabbit. "Pistachio market, I call it," said the food dragon, "so that will be 7 euro." The Wabbit didn’t have the breath to argue and anyway he thought it was a fair enough price. Somehow, the dragon seemed to know what the Wabbit was thinking. "That’s a special price, because it’s where I live and I’m on my way home." "To your den?" suggested the Wabbit. "I don’t have a den," said the dragon. "I have a lair." "OK, lair," agreed the Wabbit for the sake of peace. "You can help me because I’m seeking a dragon that been disturbing the population." "I’m not disturbed, I’m a perfectly balanced dragon," cried the dragon and he showed the Wabbit what he meant by swooping rather close to a spire. "Not that sort of disturbation," said the Wabbit clenching his ears as best he could manage. "I meant the general population kind of running around shouting "Don't Panic!" disturbation.". "Oh them," said the dragon. "They’re quite silly." "When will we get there?" asked the Wabbit, who was becoming impatient and his fur was feeling aeriated. "After I get my shopping," said the dragon. "What shopping?" asked the Wabbit. "Food shopping," said the dragon. The Wabbit laughed. "Why did the corn stalk get mad at the farmer?" he ventured. "I give up," said the dragon. "He kept pulling its ears!" yelled the Wabbit.
Monday, September 10, 2012
The Wabbit took a short cut through the tunnel that routed the Galleria Principe Amedeo di Savoia underground by the Vatican then down to the Tiber. The Wabbit thought that name was far too long for a tunnel and besides it was extremely polluted and rather unpleasant. So he pinched his nose to avoid breathing fumes and hopped quickly towards the other end. He was just half way through when he became aware of a periodic roaring but he shrugged it away, because he assumed it must be someone showing off a new Ferrari. "How vulgar," he muttered and carried on. Then he felt a strange heat at his back. "Hot day," thought the Wabbit, "especially in this tunnel," and he fanned his fur with both paws. Then a roaring echoed back and forward between the tunnel walls and a wind ruffled the Wabbit’s fur and made it prickle. "Must be a summer storm," thought the Wabbit and he carried on hopping. But for an instant he caught a whiff of fresh vegetables and being unable to explain this away, he glanced over his shoulder. A green dragon swooped through the tunnel at crazy angles, looming closer and closer. Suddenly the dragon screeched to a halt and looked at the Wabbit as if he were mad. The Wabbit shrugged and looked back as if he wasn’t. "Roar?" said the dragon. "Grrr?" said the Wabbit, because he couldn’t think of a suitable utterance. "Roar!" bellowed the dragon and shot off. The Wabbit peered towards the exit as the dragon’s wings obscured the light and made everything dim, But then to his astonishment, he saw him swooping back. The Wabbit ducked as the dragon passed him again, then flinched as it circled round and picked him up by his ears. "This way," said the dragon.
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Lovely Lapinette emerged from the electronics shop clutching some kind of machine and the Wabbit descended on her with delight. "Let me make a few adjustments," said the Wabbit. "No!" cried Lapinette but she was too late and the Wabbit did something and handed it back. "I’ve told you about this before," said Lapinette. "It’s fine," said the Wabbit, "It voids the warranty," said Lapinette. "That's not worth the cardboard it’s written on," said the Wabbit. "Well, all I can say is that it's a good thing you have a new mission. It will keep you out of trouble." "Oh," said the Wabbit, "does it involve complexity?" "It's simple. You have to go to Rome, there's a strange dragon flying around." The Wabbit looked curiously at Lapinette and paused to consider what other kind of dragon there might be. "I’ll pack my dragon accessories," he smiled. "What kind of accessories?" said Lapinette with alarm. "Pots and pans," said the Wabbit. "You can get these in Rome," said Lapinette, "it’s not the desert." "I prefer my own," said the Wabbit. "Anything else?" said Lapinette. "Depends what country it’s from," said the Wabbit. "You know an awful lot about dragons," said Lapinette. "Dragonology," replied the Wabbit. For a moment there was silence. "Perhaps it will grant me a wish," murmured the Wabbit, "and I'll ask for peace and quiet." "Be very careful about what you wish for," advised Lapinette, clasping her machine close. "Don’t press that red button!" shouted the Wabbit.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
The wabbits met at a caffè they hadn’t been to before and sheltered from the baking sun. They had just begun to discuss what kind of adventure they had, when they saw Skratch hove around the corner. “You settle this Skratch," called the Wabbit. "You’ve been to lit-crit class," added Lapinette. "I’ve been perusing Jump Cut magazine," said Skratch. "Oh really?" muttered the Wabbit. "I thought that old film journal died with film criticism years ago!" "It’s online now," said Skratch, "and I’ve been reading about a film called Taxidermia - the taxidermist was consumed alive by speed eating cats." "Yuk!" said Lapinette and she tried desperately to change the subject. "I do like your new CAT logo, Skratch," she said. "It’s very striking." The Wabbit wrinkled his nose. "The serif isn’t quite right," he said. "I shot the serif," said Skratch. "What about his deputy?" asked the Wabbit. "I didn’t shoot no deputy," said Skratch, "just the serif. Is it a capital offence?" "No, not in self defence," said the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "What are you two on about?" she asked with an exasperated voice. "We were deciding what our War Games adventure could be called," said the Wabbit, "but we got diverted." "I think it was an ambivalent text that appealed to a broad audience, but despite its feminist pretensions it emerged somewhat flawed," said Skratch. “Everyone’s a critic," smiled the Wabbit. "There are no proper film critics any more," said Lapinette. "Definitely," said the Wabbit. "The new ones think Pasolini designed sunglasses."
Saturday, September 01, 2012
The two contestants gathered for the War Game quiz decider in the courtyard of the Department of Wabbit Affairs, and waited expectantly. "Leeeet the contest begin," drawled Skratch and threw his paws wide. "First question, Wabbit," said Robot, "what is the brightest city that be seen from outer space." "Viva La Vegas,” sang the Wabbit. "Correct," yelled Skratch. "Lapinette, if you’re in third place in a race and you overtake the Wabbit, who's in front, in which position are you?" "Second," said Lapinette. "Correct," said Robot. "Wabbit, what’s a bad place to fall asleep?" "Concrete," said the Wabbit. "Mmmm. I’ll give you that one," said Robot. "Lapinette, what world figure once appeared in a TV show in his pyjamas?" asked Skratch. "Fidel Castro," said Lapinette quickly. "What?" gasped the Wabbit. "Invece e' vero!" said Skratch, "correct answer." The Wabbit hid a scowl and smiled sweetly but ground his teeth nonetheless. "Level so far," said Robot, "and the first to answer the final question wins the contest." "What is 5 to the power of zero?" asked Skratch "One!" screamed the Wabbit hysterically. Lapinette looked at him wryly because she knew the Wabbit was right and that he was the winner. "Not finished yet," said Skratch, "because in order to fully answer the question, you must say why." "Everything to the power of zero is one," explained the Wabbit. "That's only a convention," sighed Lapinette. "Sometimes being conventional pays off," said the Wabbit. "For once," smiled Lapinette sweetly, "so when's our rematch?" "In due course," grinned the Wabbit. "But first, you owe my team lunch."[Invece e' vero: Despite what you might think, it's true.]