“Chief, Torch!” exclaimed Constable Lodge. “I think we may have a problem!”
“What, apart from the countryside being overrun with mutant rabbits?” replied the Chief.
“Potentially bigger than that” replied Lodge. “I’ve been studying the manual – it’s not a good one if you want to learn English.”
“And?” asked the Chief.
“There was a line in the shrinking section that had me confused. It read ‘for total to complete ensuring that the … can’t make sense of that word …I think it says pereklyuchatel… is in the to be one position.’ Anyway, I ran it through the translation app on my tablet and I think it says that there was another switch we needed to flick to make any shrinking permanent.”
“And we didn’t?”
“I don’t think so. But there were so many switches on that thing, I could not be certain unless it was in front of me.”
“OK” said Torch. “We just dumped this on you and we should have worked together. I’ll phone Frankiewiener and get him to bring the gun back. I’ll also phone Betty to get her to come over and get Robert De Niro.”
First on the scene was Betty, accompanied by Shawn. Shawn had been to see her and asked her to have a look at Max, who seemed to be much bigger somehow. Betty had carefully checked Max over and made some measurements. She agreed that he had got a little bigger, but it could be down to something he’d eaten.
Torch explained carefully to Betty and Shawn that Pauline and Timmy were staying with them at the Station House and what had happened to them. Shawn immediately ran up to their room to make sure that they were ok.
“Do you think he’ll be OK?” asked Betty, pointing to Shawn.
“I’m sure he’ll be fine – he misses his friends and I’m sure that they will be pleased to see him. He’ll get them to bring Robert De Niro down.”
“YOU HAVE ROBERT DE NIRO HERE????!!!!” exclaimed Betty, with a small ‘squee’.
“Err, no, the Chief has named the rabbit Robert De Niro. Apparently the rabbit spoke to him when he was full size.”
“Do you think the Chief has been overworking?” asked Betty.
Torch laughed. “Probably” he agreed. “Look, here come the children.”
Pauline said hello to Betty and handed the rabbit over to Betty.
“Aww, isn’t he sweet!” she said. She carefully checked over the fur and felt the body of the rabbit. “I think he’s OK.”
“Yay!” said Pauline happily. “You see Robert, you’re OK! Come on Shawn and Timmy, let’s see how quickly he can get round our maze that we built!” With that, the three children ran upstairs. Betty turned back to Torch.
“I think the children are fine too by the looks of things. Apart from the size problem.”
“Quite” replied Torch. “Excuse me, I think I see Trevor Frankiewiener coming up to the door.”
As Torch walked over to the door, Constable Lodge approached Betty.
“Excuse me Betty” he said. “But would you mind having a look at my unicorn, Bambi?”
“This is an unusual pet collection” said Betty. “I’ve never dealt with unicorns before – so I’m going to assume that they will be pretty much like a horse or a donkey. Is there anything in particular that you’re worried about?”
“Well it’s like this” explained Lodge. “The Chief, Torch, Pauline and Timmy can only pet and stroke Bambi with their right hands. If they try to stroke Bambi with their left hand, Bambi gets very skittish.”
“I see” replied Betty. “Oh yes; I can stroke Bambi with my right hand, but not with my left. How peculiar!”
“Yes, but that’s the thing. I can stroke Bambi with either my left hand OR my right hand and there’s no skittishness at all!”
“Oh, that’s easy to diagnose” said Betty. “You’re bambidextrous!”
Trevor was at the door with the reverse-o-ray gun.
“I’ve brought it over like you asked. I’ve been trying to work out how to magnify and spread the ray; I’ve had some success, but nothing of the scope I would have liked.”
From up the stairs came the cry “Come back Robert!” and a small white ball of fur started down the stairs. It is best to describe this as started to come down the stairs as about halfway down there was a WHU-OOOOSSSHHH and a very, very large ball of fur stepped off at the bottom.
“Good afternoon!” said Robert. “Thank you for naming me Robert; it is something that I can easily pronounce – unlike my given name.”
“Which is?” asked Torch.
“As I just said, I can’t easily pronounce my given name.”
“Would you mind just standing there please?” asked Torch. “Betty – are you alright, you seemed to have gone quite pale.”
“talking… rabbit… is … talking…” she whimpered.
“Yes, you are quite right Betty, the talking rabbit is talking. Constable Lodge, have you checked the settings?”
“Yes, Torch. Can you both step back please.”
Robert was back to typical rabbit size in an instance.
“And so we can look after Robert now for a day and see if he shoots back again” said Constable Lodge.
“Excuse me Chief, Torch” said Timmy, entering the room with Pauline, Shawn and Gail. “Pauline and I don’t feel very well.”
“What’s wrong?” asked Torch.
“They say their tummies ache” said Gail. “I wasn’t sure who we needed to call – should we call them an ambulance?”
“Well I could say ‘Pauline and Timmy are an ambulance’ but I don’t think it will help” replied Torch.
“oooh-ooohh-oh. oh. oh.” said Timmy.
In an instance, Pauline and Timmy shrunk to normal size.
“I don’t understand” said Torch. “We didn’t use the reverse-o-ray gun.”
A voice came from the back of the room.
“Oh, I meant to say” said Doctor Frankiewiener. “I carried on with my experiments anyway and discovered that because our DNA is different from cats and rabbits the effects do wear off for us. I’ve narrowed it down to all two-legged animals are OK, but four legged animals – or animals that usually use four legs – seem to have lasting effects. So Pauline and Timmy should be OK.”
“Hurray!” cried Timmy an Shawn.
Pauline looked at Torch and Gail.
“Thank you for looking after us both” she started. “But do you think I can go home now? I’d quite like to sleep in my own bed.”
“Yes, I think that will be fine” replied Torch. “But please let us know if you – or you Timmy – feel unwell at all over the next week.”
“Yes Torch” they said together.
“Torch?” asked Pauline.
“Yes Pauline?” replied Torch.
“Could I take Robert De Niro home?”
“Why don’t you ask your parents first? If they say it’s OK, you can take him. Otherwise, you can always come over here and see him whenever you want.”
“Thanks Torch; thanks Gail! I’ll go ask them! Come on boys!”
The three children almost ran out of the building.
“I hope they will be OK” said Gail. “I’m sure I don’t know what I would have done if it had happened to me!”
Outside the station, one very unsorry Filthy Phil the Butcher was setting up shop.
“Hey, kids!” he said “Do you want one of my hot dogs? They’re really yummy!”
“No thank you” said Timmy. “I’ve rather gone off hot dogs for now!”
“Isn’t that Constable Lodge over there?” asked Pauline.
“Oh, lawks!” exclaimed Phil.
It’s another shop / fayre stall stand thing. I guess if I’m setting up a market place, some of these could be useful (actually, that’s something that might crop up in a later story… watch this space!)