Three Little Texts – Clovertoes (2 of 3)

Rabbit eating clover

(Credit: Hubert J. Steed)

Clovertoes hops out from the bushes and nibbles a mouthful of clover.

‘Look!’ A voice cries. She looks up and sees a young boy trying to point without letting go of a pile of three cardboard boxes in his arms. In front of him walks a young girl carrying two similar boxes and behind them is a woman dragging a huge blue suitcase and a man with a huge black suitcase.

‘Look,’ the boy says again, ‘a bunny!’

‘Maybe it lives under the house,’ says the woman.

‘Do you think it’s tame?’ asks the man, ‘it doesn’t seem at all afraid.’

‘No one has lived here in years,’ says the woman.

Clovertoes keeps her eyes on them as they walk up to the front door, but continues her meal. They are the ones who should be afraid, she thinks. Clearly they don’t know why the house has been empty for so long.

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Loyalty

Oryctolagus cuniculus

Oryctolagus cuniculus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lethargic longears lounge on the lawn in Luna’s light, the Lord Leaf leading them in their languid leisure.

They look less alive after the laboratory. They left it last month. How long will the effects last, I wonder? Little Lovage has become lanky and the Lord Leaf lumpish.

Are these lackadaisical lads and ladies all that are left of the loving, laborious and limber companions that I lost?

What lunacy could let this lamentable lycanthropy change them? Alas, there is a large lacuna in my knowledge of the laboratory, and its labyrinthine corridors do not allow me to find the Lucifer who did it.

Were it not for my lisp I would loudly let them know that my loyalty is still strong.

But for how long I cannot tell.

It IS the Rabbit

‘I’ve got it right this time, I assure you.’ He tells me and drags me into the spectator seat with a wide smile.

‘You sure?’ I ask, ‘last time it did not even remove a hair.’

‘This time I’ve given it armour underneath the hair and its teeth are edged with diamond.’

‘You’ve wasted diamonds on this mad project?’ I raise one eyebrow.

‘Just look,’ he points. I look down through the bulletproof glass at the two small white rabbits in the arena. One munching lettuce, the other completely still.

‘You can’t even tell them apart,’ he says.

‘Except one of them isn’t breathing.’

‘I haven’t turned it on yet, I wanted you to see.’

‘Well hurry up then,’ I say, ‘I have other things to do than watch your failed experiments.’

His lip twitches as he picks up a remote control. He presses a button. I stare down at the arena as the still rabbit seems to come to life. Its sides moving gently up and down, it takes a small hop towards the other rabbit. And another. The real rabbit stops munching. The copy takes another hop.

The little rabbit launches forwards and severs the copy’s head from its shoulders laying bare all the wires in its neck. Then the rabbit goes back to munching lettuce.

‘No!’ he shouts, ‘it can’t do that.’

‘You saw it,’ I say, ‘we lost near fifty men taking it from the cave, remember?’

He whimpers pressing the remote control buttons in vain. I sigh.

‘Just make sure it doesn’t escape.’ And I leave him to his grief.

Survival

Breathing: Short, quick pants.

Eyes: Wild.

Location: Under a bush.

Position: Sitting. Completely still.

Hopes for the future: Survival.

Something large is close. He can hear it sniffing. Hopefully, it has not seen him. Hopefully, it has not scented him. But the rustling of leaves under its paws is coming closer. He tenses his back legs, ready to spring as soon as it sticks its head under the bush. He hears it stop. Snif snif snuffling. Not yet, not yet. The jaws would get him in a flash.

Then a black snout appears between the leaves and he pounces, digging the claws of his front paws into the damp black thing. A loud

“Yiip!”

From the thing and he is off in the opposite direction. But the big red being of teeth and claws quickly recovers and it is after him already. He zigzags between the molehills and his pursuer skids in the loose dirt granting him a few extra moments.

He is so close to home now, but the predator is snapping at his heels again, and then he sees it: Home, safety, a hole in the ground. He leaps, the killer snaps, he loses a tuft of hair from his tail and tumbling into the tunnel, he keeps running with the sound of the killer scratching at the earth behind him.

Deep in his burrow, he trembles, still experiencing the aftershock, but, and with the thought his heartbeat slows a little, he lives to run another day.

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