(A little bit of seasonal nonsense)
By Maz McCoy
The sun came up over the dew covered meadow. A lark ascended and Fiver emerged from his burrow. He sniffed the air and the scent of fresh grass accosted his nostrils. Bees buzzed about the red and white clover flowers and the distant hum of the farmer’s tractor drifted across the fields. There was movement further down the hillside and then Hazel came bounding towards him.
“Isn’t it a beautiful day, Fiver?” He flicked his ears as a breeze caught them.
“It sure is,” the smaller rabbit agreed. “I might go down to the stream and see if there are any new dandelions growing.”
“Don’t go too far. That farmer has his dog with him.”
“I’ll be careful although I wouldn’t be surprised if…”
PING! A shot hit a stone nearby and the rabbits scrambled for their burrows.
“Dammit!” the cowboy cussed. A Colt 45 was twirled and holstered then the man headed down the hill.
The rabbit checked his watch and sighed. He tugged at his new waistcoat and smoothed down his white fur. He was, as always, late. It didn’t matter how hard he tried to be on time something always seemed to get in the way. Looking around he located the hole he needed. Now where was that girl? She too appeared to be tardy. He adjusted the pince-nez on his nose.
“Oh dear, I’m going to be late again,” he muttered. “Always late.”
A shot rang out, as shots always seem to, and a bullet hit the tree trunk above his head.
“Oh my! Oh my!” the white rabbit cried and disappeared down the hole.
“Damn! I lost another one!” Cowboy boots appeared outside the entrance to the hole. The man gave a heavy sigh and turned away.
Kid rested his hands on his hips and looked at the cottage. It had a thatched roof; roses grew around the door and on every windowsill stood a box adorned with an array of flowers. Next to the house was a vegetable garden surrounded by a hedge. In the garden grew many vegetables including French beans, lettuces and radishes. As he approached along the country lane Kid noticed a movement amongst the cabbages. He stopped in his tracks, drew his gun and watched in fascination as a small rabbit, dressed in a blue jacket with brass buttons, emerged. He carried a large cabbage in his front paws.
Kid aimed and fired but once again the leporine creature got away.
“I must be losing my touch,” Kid muttered.
“What’s up, Doc?” a nasal voice asked and the ex-outlaw turned to see a grey rabbit with a long white bib standing on his hind legs, leaning against a tree. He held a succulent carrot in his right hand and had the two whitest upper incisors Kid had ever seen.
“Did you say somethin’?”
“Yeah, I said, what’s up, Doc?”
“My name’s not Doc.”
“I know that, just being friendly, cowboy.”
“You are, huh?”
“Yeah. Say, you ain’t much of a shot are ya?”
“I’m havin’ an off day.”
“You ain’t related to Elmer Fudd are ya cos he’s always havin’ an off day?”
“I don’t know who Fudd is. I’ll have you know I’m the…” But before Kid could even draw the rabbit had disappeared. “Damn!”
Tired and still very hungry, Kid rode into the town of Shinbone. He pulled his horse to a halt in front of the saloon and dismounted. His boots echoed on the wooden planks as he stepped onto the boardwalk then pushed through the bat wing doors of the saloon. The bartender walked towards him as he approached the bar.
“What’ll it be, sir?” he enquired.
“Beer.” Kid looked around the room as he waited for his drink. His eyes fell on a man sitting at a table in the corner playing solitaire. When his drink was placed on the counter Kid tossed down a couple of coins, picked up his glass and headed across the room. “Excuse me,” he said to the man at the table. “Are you the man who shot Liberty Valance?”
“So they tell me.” The man looked up, eyeing the stranger before placing the Jack of Hearts on the Queen of Spades. “Who wants to know?” He had a characteristically slow drawl.
“My name’s Kid Curry.”
“I heard of you.”
“Mind if I sit down?” Kid indicated an empty chair.
“Sure, but not there, that’s Harvey’s seat.”
“Harvey? Who’s Harvey?”
“Kid. Kid, wake up, the coffee’s ready.”
At the sound of Heyes’ voice Kid Curry roused himself from beneath his blanket. He stared at his friend through the flames of the fire. “I had the weirdest dream.”
“Yeah? Wanna tell me about it?”
“I don’t remember it all but there sure were a lot of rabbits in it.”
“You must be hungry. Why don’t you go see what you can get us for breakfast?”
“Okay.” Kid yawned, stretched and pulled on his boots.
Hannibal Heyes watched his friend walk away, and then set about making pancakes over the camp fire.
“How’d you do?” Heyes asked when his friend returned half an hour later.
“I got a two for!”
“Two for the price of one. I got a rabbit.” Kid raised his right hand in which he held a white rabbit by the ears. The rabbit wore a bow-tie. His arms were crossed. He scowled. He was clearly a rabbit of negative disposition (he was not a happy bunny!) “And I got these.” Kid raised his left hand to reveal a basket of chocolate eggs. “Happy Easter, Heyes.”