“Don’t wanna.” Axman folded his arms. Jackie scowled at him.
“You are so obstinate,” she said, disgusted. “Why not?”
“Because it’s stupid. Because I don’t like you. Because I said so. Take your pick.”
“You better, or else.” She was getting angry.
“Or else what?”
“Or else I’m going to tell everybody it’s free drinks tonight at the Battlefield.”
“Oh, wouldn’t I?” They stared at each other with hostility for a moment before axman relented.
“You know I hate you.”
“I can live with that.” She dragged him outside, where they met up with Antares and headed toward the road to the village.
“Where you going?” asked Usagi as they passed by.
“To find some new dishes for my place. Ax here doesn’t want to come, but we made him.”
“Yeah, we need his expertise. He picked out such a nice pattern for the Battlefield and he already knows the saleslady, so he can haggle with her better than we can.”
“Can I come?”
“Sure.” She joined the party and axman eyed her bunny ears with distaste, giving a slight shudder. As they walked along, the poor hunter trudging behind, Antares spied something strange in the foliage.
“What is that?” she wondered, stopping to look. It was a tiny blue egg.
“Oh no! It must have fallen out of its nest.” Jackie looked up into the trees to try and spot where it came from.
“Here’s another!” Usagi said, pointing. “But this one is yellow.” As they looked around them, the saw several such eggs all over the forest floor.
“Poor things!” Antares exclaimed. “We should do something to protect them. They’ll get squashed or eaten by other animals out here in the open.”
They searched for a haven, and found it in a large trunk with a hollow near the base. “We’ll put them in here,” Usagi said, and they began to pick up the eggs gingerly, putting them in their shirts which they held out like aprons.
Axman stood and watched. “Those things could be covered with germs,” he said. “You guys are nuts.”
“And you’re heartless,” Jackie said in a neutral tone. “Get over here and help us.”
He scowled and shuffled into the brush, picking up a green egg by the very tips of his fingers. “Ick.”
Soon they had several eggs each, and they were getting ready to put them all into the hollow when they heard a rhythmic, deep sound.
“What was that?” Antares said, looking around.
It got louder and closer, until something white and furry could be seen approaching fast through the trees.
“No,” axman whispered, eyes wide in terror. “It can’t be!”
A giant rabbit shoved an entire tree to the ground, looking down with thunderous anger on his fuzzy face. “Those are mine!” he roared, pointing at the eggs they carried. They stammered nonsensically and handed over the eggs, which all fit easily into the mammoth rabbit’s paw. Then it leaned down and looked into their terrified little faces, its branch-like whiskers twitching.
“Surely we can talk about this, brother,” squeaked Usagi. He looked at her tiny bunny ears with disdain and snorted. Then, with a sinister smile, he raised his other paw, now curled into a fist, and squashed them all flat.