Author's note: this story was written on 13 and 14 July 2015 using the notes panel plugin because I was bored. Hopefully it's funny.
Copyright: Watership Down belongs to Richard Adams. SkiFree belongs to Chris Pirih. Do anything you want with this fic except claim it as yours.
-END AUTHOR'S NOTE-
COWSLIP'S CRAZY ADVENTURE
Cowslip was eating the flayrah in his bowl. He had been living with humans for a few months, ever since the farmer's son saved him from a shining wire. It was a good life. He had even more flayrah than in the wild, allowing him to become overweight, and best of all, he didn't have to worry about the wires all day. He took another bite out of a fresh piece of lettuce.
He looked at the humans. They were putting pieces of clothing in their suitcases. Cowslip had no idea what they were doing, but he didn't really care. "Humans are one of the great mysteries of the world, one of those things that make absolutely no sense and nobody should try to understand", he thought.
Then, the humans placed some skis inside a bag. Cowslip thought they were branches because they were vaguely smelling like trees.
-Hey dad, do we take Thumper along?
That was the son, talking again. It seemed to Cowslip as if this human did nothing except talk. And most annoyingly of all, it was not in Lapiné, not even in hedgerow, but in some weird human language. Cowslip had been trying desperately to understand it, but he could only recognize one word: Thumper. Apparently, that was HIM. How he hated that name.
-Oh, come on, you already have four bags entirely filled, and you want to bring the RABBIT with you?
That was the farmer. Cowslip also hated that human, he was always angry.
-Oh please, please, please, let's bring him with us!
-Now, what use would that rabbit be while we go skiing? It would just be trouble!
-Oh, you don't love me! Because if you did, you would let me bring him!
And he broke down crying. Cowslip was profoundly annoyed at this. If there was one thing he hated more than humans talking, it was humans crying. And the farmer's son was the king of crying.
-Aw, come on, son, you know I love you, and there's nothing I wouldn't do for you...
-Then you will let me bring him, won't you?
-(loud sigh) I'm afraid I will have to...
-Oh thank you so much, dad, I love you!
And he ran into the next room. "Yet another mystery of humans", thought Cowslip, "one moment, he's crying, and the next, he's running around. Frithrah, will they ever start making sense?"
Cowslip was in his carrying box. It really wasn't anything more than that: a small cardboard shoebox with a few small holes made by the humans so he could breathe, and several big holes made by his teeth in preparation for the eventual escape.
The humans were feeding the hrududu, putting their luggage in its back mouth. The farmer kept pushing against the hrududu's jaw, but apparently, it had trouble swallowing everything it has just been fed. Eventually, he took out a large round black thing and put it on the ground. Cowslip thought the hrududu had just passed hraka. "Hrududil are strange creatures", thought Cowslip, "they have hrair mouths, and these humans can get eaten and come out in one piece! If there is one thing that is weirder than humans, it has to be hrududil!"
The farmer entered through one of the mouths, his mate took another one, and their son, carrying Cowslip's box, took another. Soon after, the hrududu woke up and started to move.
Everything went all right for a while, then suddenly a loud popping noise was heard. The hrududu stopped. The farmer came out and began screaming:
-ARGGH! IF WE DIDN'T HAVE SO MUCH LUGGAGE, I WOULDN'T HAVE NEEDED TO REMOVE THE SPARE TIRE!
Then his mate began talking with him. Cowslip couldn't hear what they were saying, but he didn't care. He was much too preoccupied by the female human's neck: there was a small, thin, shining wire around it. Cowslip began to panic as the memories of his near-death experience came flooding back to him. He tried to bolt, but he couldn't get out of the box, so he had to resume chewing it, making a lot of noise in the process.
-Stop your arguing! You're stressing Thumper out!
Cowslip eventually managed to make a hole large enough for him to stick his head out of the box. Looking through one of the hrududu's large, transparent eyes, hesaw the farmer kicking angrily at the hrududu. Eventually, he went back inside with his mate, and the hrududu began moving again, although much slower than before.
-I'm sorry, but you cannot bring your rabbit with you in the cabin. It will have to be put with the luggage.
-But why? WHY!? You allow dogs and cats and birds and snakes in the cabin! Why not Thumper?
-I'm sorry, but there is a company policy...
-Now look here, please let my son take his rabbit with him. If you don't, he will probably cry and annoy everyone in the plane for the entire trip. Besides, it's just a rabbit! It's not as if it was a bomb or anything...
-Look, I'm just doing my duty. If your son annoys everyone, you will be fined. Another company policy.
Cowslip was not really paying attention to the argument as he was too busy trying to determine whether that large thing next to him was a bird or a hrududu. It had wings like a bird, but it was large like a hrududu. He eventually decided that it didn't matter because it didn't look dangerous.
Cowslip's box was then carried through the plane, and eventually he found himself under the pilot's seat. When the pilot sat down, Cowslip decided that his legs were ugly and took too much space, so he nipped them.
-YOOOW! Hey, what is this rabbit doing under my seat?
-I'm sorry, sir, but under your seat is the only place left on the plane to put it, answered the flight attendant.
-Oh. But next time, tell me about it before you do it, all right?
A while later, in the middle of the flight, the pilot felt an intense need to pass hraka. He hesitated, as there was no co-pilot due to budget cuts, but finally decided that it would be all right to leave the cockpit for a few minutes, what could go wrong?
As soon as the pilot had left, Cowslip, who had been chewing a VERY large hole in his box, jumped onto the seat. He was fascinated by all these bright lights in front of him, burning like fire. He found a large thing with several black squares on it, each one having a small symbol on it. Cowslip had already seen these symbols on those paper things humans spend so much time staring at, but he was not familiar with one of them: four white squares, seen from a slight angle. He touched the button to see how it felt. As soon as he did, the lights closed and failed, and the larger, rectangular ones turned blue (with many white symbols). "How can these lights that burned so brightly suddenly burn so pale?" Cowslip asked himself. He then heard human footsteps, which he recognized as those of the pilot. He hid in his box.
The pilot came back and saw with horror what had happened. He didn't know that Cowslip was responsible, but either way, it didn't matter. He pressed a button and began to talk:
-Hello, this is the pilot speaking. The plane's computer systems have crashed and recovery is impossible, meaning the entire plane will crash. Please remain calm and proceed to the back of the plane, where the flight attendant will provide you with parachutes. Do not clutter yourself with your luggage. The airline will most likely not be able to refund your tickets. We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for flying with Microsoft(TM) Airlines.
All the passengers (except those who were sleeping) began shoving their way to the back of the plane. Cowslip himself didn't understand anything that was happening, but even if he did, he probably wouldn't have cared. "Rabbits WALK, so why should humans let hrududil do all the work? They should walk too!"
Still, within a few minutes, most of the passengers were somewhere in the air riding on parachutes. Just as the farmer's son was about to jump out, he said:
-Hey, we forgot Thumper!
-Don't worry about the rabbit, he'll be all right.
-No! You heard the pilot, the plane is going to crash!
He then ran towards the cockpit, grabbed Cowslip and ran out of the plane.
Cowslip was shocked at what happened. A few moments ago, he was calmly relaxing in his box and suddenly, there he was, being held clumsily by a falling human somewhere in the sky. He was shocked at how Frith hardly looked any larger than on the ground, despite the fact that he is much closer to Him.
Suddenly, a large shadow appeared over him and the fall greatly slowed. However, the farmer's son was not holding him very well, so he fell.
Cowslip was completely terrified. "Great Frith, if I survive this thing, I swear I'll go back to my warren and make up for all the bad things I did! Please help me!"
He ultimately landed on the farmer's parachute, which was floating slightly lower. He clawed desperately at it to avoid falling off, making a few small holes in it, accelerating the fall.
The farmer crashed into a human burrow and fell in a large water hole. His son and his mate fell into the snow outside the burrow. Cowslip was all right, as the parachute stayed on the surface of the water with him on it. "Frith and Inlé, it floats!" he said very loudly, but the humans around him were too busy paying attention to the fact that a parachutist just crashed into their burrow to notice that a talking rabbit was calmly sitting on the parachute.
The farmer had a sore back for a few days, but didn't suffer any permanent injuries. His biggest worry was that the SkiFree Resort and Casino(TM) was planning to sue him for the damage to their roof.
Cowslip suffered no injuries at all and had quickly forgotten his promise to Frith during the fall. He went back to his simple life of eating, washing himself and sleeping.
Cowslip was cold. Sure, he had his fur, but he was not in a burrow and there were no other rabbits to exchange body heat with. He turned his head and saw, much to his horror, that "The mountain! It's covered with snow!"
He was under the farmer's son's arm. The human had several thick layers of fur on him and those long thin tree-smelling things under his feet, and small branches in his hands.
-What's that you got in your arms, son? Oh, no, not that rabbit again! I thought we had agreed that he was staying in the cabin!
But his son was already skiing down the mountain.
Cowslip saw the human dodging various trees and rocks along the seemingly never-ending trail. After a while, he saw Prince Rainbow lying in the snow. The human moved onto Him and was catapulted into the air...only to crash into a large tree and fall down head first into the snow, saying "Ouch!"
Cowslip, trapped underneath the human, was completely tharn and only managed to say "Hraka!"
A few moments later, the farmer's son was back on his feet and continued skiing.
About hrair falls later, Cowslip caught a glimpse of a dark shadow behind a tree. He quickly looked away, afraid it was the Black Rabbit of Inlé. But it wasn't. It was a large, grey thing, walking on its hind legs with a hideous smile on its lips. Before he could realize what was happening, the farmer's son found himself grabbed by the creature and swallowed whole.
Cowslip, whom the human had dropped when he was picked up, then saw the monster pick his teeth with one of the branches and begin to dance. This reminded him of his old warren, where the rabbits danced as a greeting. Thinking the creature was saying hello, he began to make the movements himself, but the creature didn't seem to notice and walked away after a while. The farmer, who had seen the whole thing from a distance, found himself instantly teleported back to the top of the mountain. Thinking everything that had happened was only a hallucination due to the cold, he started to ski.
Cowslip was also beginning to think it was all a kind of dream when the farmer arrived and suffered the same fate as his son. Cowslip considered going tharn. He had no humans left, his warren was far, far away and all the rabbits there probably thought he had stopped running in the wire. He was now reduced to the lowest level a rabbit can sink to: a hlessi.
He began wandering aimlessly on the mountain, having completely forgotten the cold. Almost immediately, he was run over by the farmer's mate, who was snowboarding crazily on the mountain, unaware of her family's fate. THE END.
This fic is dedicated to Roebling of the Brooklyn Bunny cam, who died on 18 September 2015 at the age of 11.