A/N: I was thinking about vegetarians and how there are so little of them and so decided to write this story. It seemed interesting. Let me know what you think! I was going to call this "Vegetarianism for Dummies" but then thought that was a bit cruel. Rabbit Rabbit might be an ironic one. I'll call it that. Rabbit rabbit is like the "pinch and the punch for the first day of the month" only it's a good-luck thing.
Jeffry went to the pub every afternoon to hang with his mates and even went to a few ball games. He sighed. How would they handle his discovery? He held the mangled rabbit in his hand, its eyes wide and staring, its soft white fur matted with blood. His garage had never been so messy. Sure, he had seen things like this in movies, characters that killed - but never an animal. Jeffry sighed. They were going to kill him too… weren't they?
He sat down on his stool and begun to pluck the fur out of the rabbit, with some resistance. The tiny furs floated to the floor in a heap.
'Jeff!' cried a woman's voice from inside the house, approaching, and coming nearer. Jeffry's face turned white. What would Mischa think?
'Don't come in, honey!' he called, voice bouncing off the walls tauntingly. 'I'm very busy with something and I'm a real mess. What do you want?'
Just in case, Jeffry ran to the door and bolted it. He sank down against the timber, shallow breathed.
'Just wanted to know what you want for dinner.'
Jeffry's eyes dropped to the limp rabbit in his hand. He had an idea.
'Can I make it?'
'Can I make dinner?'
'What do you want to do that for?'
'I…' Jeffry faltered. 'To be honest, I've found a new type of food in the field. I want to cook it for you.'
He had tasted the first rabbit on his own. It tasted… interesting, to say the least. He could cook it up to look like something new, something different. Maybe cook it with some tomatoes and potatoes. Some parsley…
'Ooh! A new fruit? Vegetable? What is it?'
'I want it to be a surprise.'
'Well, okay,' came Mischa's voice through the door, 'have it ready by eight. We're having company over for dinner. The Frederickson's. I'm sure they'll love to taste it.'
The Frederickson's? Jeffry queried. This could work to my advantage… The Frederickson's were the head of the local fruit n veg distributer, Freddie's. If they liked it, maybe…Jeffry swooned with joy. I could become a very rich man.
Eight o'clock. Jeffry returned to his stool and begun to pluck the creature more rapidly, pink flesh shining from the over-head lamp. That means I have … Jeffry looked up at the clock above his tools. Two hours. He finished plucking the creature, and then he held its neck on his wooden work-table, already sodden with blood. He picked up a heavy knife and slammed it in the crook of its neck. With a crack, it snapped off. Blood seeped out of the wound, gently licking the flesh.
'Okay, okay, everybody. Now, now, citizens,' Mr Frederickson chuckled, wiping his foggy glasses on the end of his shirt before putting them back on again, grinning mischievously. His bald patch shone with sweat in the sun, the crowd before him was boisterous. It wasn't often the town was brought together over a new discovery – most fruits and vegetables had already been discovered. 'Our own Jeffry Bickers has discovered a new type of fruit – or vegetable.' He added with a nod of the head. Muttering amongst the crowd. Confusion. 'Thing is, he has denied us the pleasure of what it is until today, when he promised to come clean and let us know his terrible secret!'
There was a polite smattering of applause.
'What's it taste like?'
This time Mrs Frederickson took the microphone off the stand, her eyelids batting. 'It tastes absolutely gorgeous. It's juicy and - well, I simply can't explain it to you. Thing is, once Mr Bickers lets us know what it is, we'll put it on the market and sell to other distributers! Assuming this hasn't been discovered already, we'll be sure to be a hit!'
A shriek of excitement from the crowd.
'Will we get enough money for health-care?'
Mr Frederickson took the microphone. 'If this new item is a success – which, I'm sure it will be - then of course we will. It's a true delicacy! The discovery of this nourishment will go down in American history!'
The rumbling crowd erupted into cheers, shouts and applause. Jeffry, in the chair next to the stage, gulped. How will they react? Jesus, when they find out when what I've been giving them is meat! They may have never considered it before, but… I mean, the Frederickson's love the taste! More confident, Jeffry sat up in his chair. They'll love it, I'm sure they will. There's nothing wrong with change. Nothing wrong with a new era. Or maybe I'm exaggerating. Either way.
It would all have started with me.
'Now, Jeffry! You all know Jeffry Bickers, been working in the construction industry for quite awhile now.' A hearty chuckle. 'Don't keep us all waiting, Jeff, let us know your glorious secret! Tell us the story of how you came to discover it.'
The noise was getting louder now and even the sunshine retreated in surprise, hiding its face behind a cloud. The town was cast in shadow.
'Hello everybody,' Jeffry began, stepping up to the microphone and smirking at the pat on the back he got from Mr Frederickson. 'You all know who I am, and, I won't keep you waiting for what I'm about to say. Though, I suppose I should explain to you all what this involves, because for some of you, I don't know how you'll react to how I…' Jeffry faltered and turned to look at Mr Frederickson, who nodded encouragingly. '… got it. The truth is… This food is something special. It's something new, different!' He paused and caught his wife's eye from the crowd. She smiled. 'Ladies and gentleman.' Jeffry took a deep breath and beamed at the crowd, remembering his purpose. 'The food I have brought to you… is rabbit.'
A burst of laughter from the crowd.
'No jokes, now, Jeffry. Just get it out... There's a good man.'
Jeffry glanced at Mr Frederickson in alarm. 'No, no! I am perfectly serious.'
More laughter. Jeffry waited impatiently for it to die down - which wasn't long. The sun peeked a glimpse at the scene below. All was silent. The crowd suddenly realized that it was not a joke.
'I am sorry to inform you all, ladies and gents, that I am perfectly serious. I understand that my actions were wrong in causing harm to such an animal.' Angry whispers and murmurs of disbelief from the crowd. Jeffry felt the sweat on his forehead glisten, he could feel it trickling down his neck and spine. He suppressed a shiver. 'This concept might be quite disturbing to you all. But, truth be told, I think we could make a real profit out of this.' The anger got louder. 'After all, our economy's getting low, maybe we should be looking into new solutions, new ideas! Nobody has even tried meat! Well, actually, Mr and Mrs Frederickson have. And my wife… And myself. I tested it before giving it to them. And it wasn't all bad, right?' He turned to his friends in uncertainly. His heart dropped. Their faces were sickly pale. Glancing over to the crowd, he saw Mischa put a hand to her mouth in disgust, in revolution. Her eyes clearly read: why did I marry you?
'That's horrible!' a shrill voice broke the sudden silence.
'How could you do such a thing? To a rabbit? A poor, innocent rabbit. They're quite cute you know.' It was Mr Frederickson now, and Jeffry's face turned pink. He felt ashamed of himself. At first his idea seemed brilliant and everything was going fine and then –
Jeffry felt something hard clamp his arm. He looked up. The city guards.
'What?' he exclaimed. 'No! I didn't do anything wrong! I was just trying something new – it's not all bad!'
'You know,' breathed Mr Frederickson from Jeffry's right, 'that killing an animal is considered murder in this country. You ought to feel ashamed of yourself.'
'I – I am!'
'And that you fed it to us!' The middle-aged man continued, putting a hand to his forehead in amazement, before turning to construction worker. 'It's not okay, Jeff, it's absolutely not okay.'
The major stood at the end of the stage and watched as his police force took Jeffry Bickers down, the crowd yelling and screaming them on. The police officers knew the town was on their side. Jeffry Bickers was theirs. They punched his face and pressed his cheek into the wooden stage as he struggled to free himself. The men pulled his arms behind his back and cuffed his wrists together. Jeffry Bickers was shouting innocence, yelling for his retribution, but a police officer stood over him. With a smack of his staff, the man was knocked out, an angry crack silencing him before he was dragged away.