Wednesday, February 24, 2010
"Book him, Flopsy," the sheriff says to the fat, grey floppy eared bunny Turbo had seen at the carrot market. Turns out that was the sheriff's deputy, Deputy Flopsy Buns. Flopsy looks irritated at having to move, but slowly he rolls himself toward Turbo and cuffs him. Turbo is too hungover to resist.
They take him down to Bunnylon Prison and put him in a dirty cell full of old, unemptied litter and gave him wilted, rotten lettuce to eat. He begs for aspirin and something greasy to eat, anything to make the pain of the hangover go away, but they just laugh at him and throw straw in his face. Fat old Flopsy hunkers down right outside Turbo's prison cell and snacks loudly on raisins, torturing poor Turbo whose head is still throbbing and whose belly rumbles for decent food. But Flopsy doesn't say a word, just stares at him and chomps his food.
The next day, Flopsy returns, sits right there in front of him and devours crisp greens while Turbo watches. Flopsy lets out a big belch, wipes his mouth, and finally speaks. "What were you doing down there at City Hall?" Turbo replies that he just wanted to help Bunnlandia, came down because the Mayor asked; no one was there so he helped himself to the Carota; thought it was there for some kind of reception for everyone who showed up. "That was a trick," Flopsy replies. "Everybunny's afraid of that tower, no one will go near it, not with the roars coming out of that place and the disappearances. The only bunny who wouldn't be afraid to show up would be the person building it. We were trying to lure the culprit with promises of riches. Seems it worked, too. You're the tower builder, aren't you?" Turbo says no, that he just wants to help, but Flopsy ain't buying it. "Tell it to the sheriff," he says. "We're taking you down to the interrogation room. You're going to tell us the truth - even if we have to starve you to get it."
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The next day, Turbo wakes at noon and has a long leisurely breakfast, finishing off the rest of the food stash he found in the home, then moseys on down to City Hall. He expects there to be hoards of bunnies there vying for a chance at that prize of 100 carrots and a room in the castle, so he doesn't hurry; but Turbo rarely hurries for anything. To his great surprise, when he gets to City Hall nobunny is there. The place is completely empty - no one lined up for these tests, not even the city employees are there. He walks around the grounds looking for someone, trying all the locked doors, banging on windows, but nothing. "Figures," he says to himself as he hops around to the back of the building. No one there either. But near a service entrance he sees a big barrel of Carota - carrot juice fermented with hops - a drink that will get a rabbit seriously messed up.
He looks around again, making sure he's not being watched. Confident that no one's around, he chews a hole in the bottom of the Carota barrel and starts to guzzle the stuff. At first the Carota makes his nose tingle, then a warmth travels through his body. Then he starts giggling hysterically and singing, still guzzling down the sweet beverage, getting it all over him. He's covered in the stuff when he blacks out, his paws up in the air, his fur stained orange.
After some time he wakes up. He slowly opens his eyes, his head is pounding and his sight is blurry; he sees something strange in front of him, smells a warm, sour breath. "Seems we got ourselves a public drunk," he hears, the voice loud and close, making his head hurt worse. Finally his eyes focus, and staring him in the face is the Sheriff of Bunnylon, the big bald patch on his nose inches away from Turbo's orange stained face.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Since leaving the bunny orphanage, Turbo has been smooth-talking friends and acquaintances into letting him sleep on their couches or the floors of their storage rooms, hopping from burrow to burrow, refusing to get a job. After stealing the enormous orange carrot from the Carrot Market, he returns to the place he's currently squatting (the home of a family vacationing in Parsley Village), and devours it, along with the homeowners' secret stash of dried mango. With a full belly and an unblemished conscience, he lays on the sofa for the rest of the day and reads the Bunnylon newspaper, The Daily Tribunny, he stole from the neighbor's doorstep.
The front page headline reads: MAYOR O'HARE AFRAID OF TOWER - CALLS ON BUNNYLON RESIDENTS FOR HELP. "Hmmm," Turbo thinks to himself, "that must be what the sheriff and that fat, gray bunny were talking about." According to the article, the base of the tower and the impenetrable fence around it went up over night. The mayor of Bunnylon, Mr. Triscuits O'Hare, and the BPD have been unsuccessful in contacting anyone inside the tower. No one is seen working on it during the day, and the Rabbits on night patrol are mysteriously lured away with what one sole survivor described as a magical and irresistible scent of Cheerios (an intoxicating treat that can only be found on the black market of Bunnylon). Night after night, the tower grows taller and rabbits of the BPD keep disappearing. The King of Bunnlandia is being called back from the winter palace to hold a special session with his closest advisors. Bunnies everywhere are terribly afraid. Roars are heard from within the tower walls; roars that make the bunnies quake all the way to Litter Village. "If you think you can withstand the lure of the sweet Cheerio and find information on the inhabitants of the Tower or those who work on it," the article continues, "come to City Hall for a series of tests. Should you pass these tests and discover information about the scary tower, you will receive an award of 100 carrots and one year's accommodation inside the King's castle with as many books as you can chew. Bunnlandia and your King need you."
"100 carrots and the chance to chew all the books I want? And a place to live? Just for sitting outside some stupid tower for a night? Sign me up!" Turbo says to himself, nodding his head vigorously. Sometimes he thinks his fellow rabbits aren't so bright. He cleans his ears and takes a nice, long nap. Tests! Whatever. Might as well show up, though.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Bunnlandia is a sprawling land of green hills and valleys, placid lakes, and tranquil mountains, where rabbits raise their young in peaceful villages. Each village claims responsibility for one of Bunnlandia's necessities. There is Hay Village, Carrot Village, even a Litter Village. The goods these villages create are taken to market in Bunnlandia's only city, Bunnylon -- a bustling city with a great market place in the center where rabbits go for things they need -- food, toys, grooming, socializing, and information.
But not all rabbits are fortunate enough to live in these peaceful villages with their loving, protective families. Some rabbits have bad luck, some rabbits like Turbo -- an orphaned bunny who lives in the city, fending for himself with cunning and wit, talking farmers out of food, charming lady rabbits out of precious alfalfa pellets, slyly taking carrots from vendors stands. Which is where we find Turbo now - here in the carrot market, hiding among the crowds of rabbits. As he inspects a particularly sweet-smelling carrot, one that he plans on surreptitiously dropping into his bunny pouch, he overhears a conversation between a fat gray rabbit and the sheriff of Bunnylon -- an oversized floppy-eared rabbit with a bald patch above his nose. They are nervously talking, fear in their voices. It seems that just outside the city limits, a great tower is being constructed. No one knows by whom, no one knows how, no one can pass through the gates that have been erected.
But what does the hungry Turbo care. He has only himself to worry about. He slips the carrot into his pouch. The sheriff doesn't see a thing.