Domini Mortum

By Paul Holbrook

A supernatural murder mystery novel set in late Victorian London.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

A Cute Story for Easter - Mr Rabbit and the Broken Eggs

Exquisite eggs; smashed, damaged, destroyed… dead.

Mr Rabbit looked around at what was left of his collection.  Since he had been a young kitten he had kept them so neatly upon the shelf of his living room on the opposite wall to his fireplace.  There he could sit by the fire on a night and look at hem lovingly, remembering how he had collected each on.  He had added a new one each year and he had been so proud of his wonderful collection, but now they were all gone.

A single tear fell from the corner of one of his large brown eyes, rolling down the soft fur of his face and along one of his long whiskers.  This was the worst feeling he had ever experienced and it was only the shock of the scene before him that stopped him from breaking down completely and becoming wracked with inconsolable sobs.

In the depths of his mind he began to form a list; a different kind of collection, one which identified a list of suspects that could have done this to him.  Mr Rabbit was annoyed at himself for having such bad thoughts but someone must be responsible for this.  Someone broke into his burrow and did this to him, how wicked.  He would give this more thought later; but first he had to clear up this mess in his home.

‘Curse my paws and whiskers!’ he said under his breath as he opened a small door in the wall of his burrow and pulled out his wooden broom. ‘Curse my rotten paws and whiskers.’

He busily swept the broken and smashed fragments of egg that littered the floor of his normally spotless burrow and then, a sad tear still in his eye, he put a kettle on the stove to boil, lighting the flame to heat the water for a cup of tea.

‘All my eggs, all my beautiful eggs…’ he muttered as he waited for the kettle to boil.  He thought of how special each one had been and how they were all unique to him and with each thought he became even sadder.

When the kettle whistled to say that the water was boiling, he got out his best crockery and filled his teapot with hot water.  The smell of lavender rose in the steam, a smell which would normally help him to relax but today it did not seem to work.  He sat down in his favourite comfy armchair and, after pouring a cup for himself, he settled back and sighed.  Oh dear, poor Mr Rabbit did look a very sad sight indeed.  His long ears had lost their spring and now drooped miserably upon his shoulders, his nose, normally so busy, twitching seemed still and dull, and his little paws, normally so clean and well-kept, were dirty and dusty from cleaning.

‘This will not do!’ he said to himself as he sipped his tea and carefully nibbled at the edge of one of the ginger biscuits which Mrs Hedgehog had so kindly made for him the day before.  He pondered his situation and, after some careful thinking, decided upon the culprit.  It had to be Mr Fox; he had always had a glint of jealousy in his eye whenever he had visited Rabbit for supper.  He would always ask to look at the egg collection and he often said how he wished that he could have one just like it.  Fox could not steal the eggs of course, Rabbit would see them next time he visited at Fox’s house and Fox would be unable to deny it. No, Fox had obviously decided in jealousy to destroy Rabbit’s beautiful collection.  Fox’s time would come but first he had other matters in mind.

His tea finished, he pulled his pocket watch out of his waistcoat and saw that, as it was Easter Sunday, he would still have time to begin his collection again.  One egg at a time; he would start over and make his new collection even better than before.

He scampered out of his burrow and headed through the field to the nearby village waving to his friends as he passed them.  When he reached the village, he spent the afternoon dodging in and out of the gardens looking for a new egg.  After five or six different gardens he finally found the garden which suited his needs.  It was late-afternoon and normally he did this kind of thing early in the morning when the children were asleep, where he would not be seen, but no matter this was a desperate time and called for desperate measures.

The little girl sat in the warm spring sun on a picnic blanket at the bottom of the garden.  She was having a most enjoyable tea party with her teddy bears.  Her parents were in the kitchen at the back of the house but were not looking out at her, they would call her in for dinner soon and the opportunity would be gone.

Mr Rabbit hopped nervously out from under the bush, the girl saw him immediately.

‘Hello, Mr Rabbit.’ She said smiling.  He did not reply but hopped closer.  On the blanket with her was a small porcelain tea set, a present from her grandma just last Christmas.   Next to the tea set was the prize that he was after, an Easter egg still in its wrapper.  He hopped onto the blanket, stopping besides the girl and looking up at her with his soft brown eyes.  His little nose twitched and his whiskers tickled her leg making her giggle in delight.

‘Well, Mr Rabbit you are very friendly aren’t you?  Would you like a cup of tea or a piece of Easter egg?’

His eyes flicked quickly to the kitchen window, her parents were busy cooking dinner and not watching.  He stood on his hind legs and looked up at the girl.

‘I have just had a cup of tea, thank you.’ He said, smiling at her.  ‘And I do not want just a piece of Easter egg.  I want it all.’

He sprung up towards her and sank his large teeth into her neck, tearing at her throat.  Large shots of bright red blood splashed over her teddies and onto her tea set, collecting in the cups.

Such a messy business, egg collection, he thought as she slumped onto the blanket.  But it was his most very favourite hobby.

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