Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fur Wars - Chapter 9

Duncan Duncanson listened intently as Derek described what he’d seen earlier that day while out foraging.

“What a load of bollocks,” said Duncan when Derek finished his tale.
“It’s true, I swear,” said Derek, “A Sacrifice like the one you see before you here. Flying across the sky above The Forest. It’s Dragon Dragonson the explorer. I know it.”
“..shhhh, keep your voice down. Daveson’s only over there. If he hears you talking about that sodding explorer, he’ll be on his magic talking box to the spirits then you’ll be on The Sacrifice so fast your legs won’t touch the ground,” warned Duncan.
“Look,” whispered Derek, “you’re the only one I can trust. I’m going to go foraging tomorrow, south along The Stream again. I’ll get up at dawn, if I cut through The Forest rather than following the meander of The Stream I reckon I can make it down as far as I did today before cutting in for a good while before we have to head back.”
“We!? We!? You can stop this we business, I’m going nowhere.”
“Come with me Dunc,” pleaded Derek, “if we see Dragon I’m going to need someone I can trust to come back and explain where I’ve gone..”
“But what…” Duncan started to ask before being drowned out by the sound of The Sacrificial Gong.


All The Village Bunnies fell silent as The Basket emerged from The Village Hutch, held aloft by The Doe Carriers. That day’s Sacrificial Doe, Darylena Daryleson, was bound and gagged next to The Pyre just as The Village Law decreed. Derek had known Daryle Daryleson’s little sister Darylena all of his and her life. The Dereksons and Darylesons had always been close, indeed, there was a time when Derek had hoped that he would himself breed with Darylena to produce a line of Bunny explorers and Sacrificial Does. That dream, though, was officially over.

Among the multitude of reforms that new Prime Bunny, Dave Daveson, had passed was the Supreme Breeding Act which stipulated that it would be he, as the elected leader of the Bunnies, who would shoulder the burden of responsibility for breeding with The Village Does henceforth. As a consequence, shortly after producing her first litter sired by Dave Daveson, Darylena was receiving The Village’s ultimate honour.

Somehow, even though The Village Law taught Bunnies that being the Sacrificial Doe was a great honour, very few Does seemed to see it that way. Darylena didn’t look too happy with the situation. In fact, she looked downright miserable. Derek looked on, slightly uncomfortably. While he’d seen The Sacrifice daily for as long as he could remember, seeing a close friend tied up awaiting The Basket always made him feel a touch guilty.

“If The Sacrifice is such an honour,” he’d once asked his father, Derek Snr, “then why is it only the Does that are ever Sacrificed?”
“Well son,” said his dad, “if they were left to their own devices, they’d breed like bleedin’ rabbits,” he guffawed, but Derek had looked on unable to comprehend.
“It’s just the way of The Village lad. Ours is not to question why, we’ll leave The Village Law to The Elders. They know best,” his father had said.

This had never really satisfied Derek as a response either, still, The Sacrifice was a stirring moment guaranteed to bring a lump to the throat of even the sternest Bunny and Derek Derekson was no exception. The Basket was carried slowly through The Village letting close friends and family of the Sacrificial Doe throw in nuts, berries and grooming products for the journey up to Warren.

Darylena Daryleson looked every inch the blushing Sacrificial Doe, dressed, as she was, in absolutely nothing at all. When The Basket arrived at The Pyre, Darylena was quickly untied by The Village Elders and pushed in headfirst. The door was slammed shut behind her and The Basket placed onto The Pyre.

A small amount of banging could be heard from within The Basket. Darylena was certainly game, but the sound of The Sacrificial Gong drowned it out soon enough.


Dave Daveson lit The Pyre. Then, as is ever the case, moments later came a blinding flash of lightening and clap of deafening thunder, the shockwave of which knocked Derek, Duncan and all the other Bunnies from their feet. The Sacrificial Doe’s ascendance to Warren was now underway.

The Village Elder’s Wurlitzer sparked into life as The Pyre burned around The Basket, and the Bunnies sang in unison the traditional song of Deliverance to Warren.

Oooooh. You know that it would be untrue
You know that we would all be liars
If we were to say to you
Doe, you couldn’t get much higher
Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love becomes The Sacrificial Pyre
Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire, yeah..!

Without further ado, The Pyre was duly extinguished before too much good firewood went to waste and The Basket door was opened enabling Prime Bunny Daveson, to give things the once over. Turning around to greet the assembled Bunnies, Daveson nodded affirmatively and gave the thumbs up signal. Darylena Daryleson, the nuts, berries and grooming products had all disappeared from The Basket, and were safely on their journey to Warren. The Basket was taken back to The Village Hutch in readiness for tomorrow’s Sacrifice.

“OK,” said Duncan to Derek, “you’re on. We’ll go this once. But if we don’t find anything, that’s the last I want to hear about Pyres in the sky, Dragon Dragonson or ex-bloody-ploring.”

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