Unhappy Fanny! Not only has she been thought insipid for the last two centuries, but now she has suffered the exquisite pain of being shot in the thigh! I hope this might help to make her more sympathetic, so at least her suffering won't be in vain. Surprisingly, she pulled though very well. Even though she always seemed to be a poor, frail little thing, she had the stubbornness to be able to cling to life and health, and at least make a reasonable recovery. I visited her in the hospital the morning after my memorable encounter with my Aunt, where she was propped up in bed, looking very pale, but not any worse than was to be expected.

"I'm glad to see you awake, my dear." said I. "I have brought some chocolate and some books for you to enjoy. I thought perhaps you might want something different, so I have borrowed some of Tom's modern collection."

"How thoughtful!" said Fanny. "Though I fear I am not up to reading much at present- being full of medication is very distracting, you know."

"I'll read to you, if you would like." I replied, taking up a volume.

"That would be lovely."

"Let me see… this first one is called The Round and the Furry- apparently it's about a family of Southern rabbits in decline."

"I do love rabbits!" exclaimed Fanny. "They're such sweet little things, you know."

"And are very good seasoned and roasted."


"Sorry." I answered, (though still correct) and began to read:

April 15th, 1929

Buster and I were chewing on some lettuce we kept on chewing my nose wiggled and I hopped all over the yard Get out of my garden said the farmer I'll get my shotgun I will bang bang bang we ran away into the burrow I made it but I couldn't see buster anymore where is he he's gone where is that rabbit said mama

Mama was very angry and thumped hard on the floor of the burrow. Where is buster he's gotten himself in trouble again I reckon he's a no-good rotten bunny

Where's that Katie gone off with that low-down circus rabbit I bet she's gonna have a whole burrow full of babies if shes not careful I ain't takin' care of none of them she's an irresponsible little slut





"Do you have any idea what is going on?" I asked.

"Are we supposed to?"

"Perhaps we should try something a little less… confusing. (Reaching for another book) This one looks promising- it's called The Young Man and the Pond.

"Yes, it looks quite edifying." said Fanny, perking up a bit.

Chapter One

See Sam.

See Sam fish.

See the fish.

It is big.

Sam doesn't catch the fish.

Sam tries again.

Sam doesn't catch the fish.

Sam tries again.

He still doesn't catch the fish.

It is a deep Christian allegory.

"That's no better!" said Fanny. "It seems like a children's book with all the interesting parts cut out- Poor Tom must have a very strange taste in literature."

"What about a little poetry?" I asked. "Surely that will be more pleasant, since I know how fond you are of it."

"I hope so."

"This one is called The Hell Jar, and is recommended by all the best angst-ridden critics, so I've heard."

"Tragedy can be pleasing when written in such a way to inspire our compassion and pity. Let us hear it."

Death and Transfiguration

If I have to grade one more paper,

One more half-baked, hair-brained

Excuse for a project,

I swear that I will cut my throat.

What a wonderful, rich, creamy death I

Will enjoy.

Haunted by images

Of the silken threads of life which I will cut

With a pair of pinking shears.

I will shear my life like a

Large, merino sheep, and my wool will fall down,

Down through the milky dew,

Tragic because it is not machine-washable.

I will card my wool and spin

Like Clotho or the wise, eternal Spiderman,

And then I will knit a noose, thin and graceful

And hang it round my neck,


Limply hung

With my own thoughts of suicide.

"I don't think we'll get anything rational from this one either." I sighed and tossed it onto the pile of rejects. It greatly disappointed me that for the most part my efforts were a loss (other than the chocolate, which we devoured voraciously), and I brooded almost as well as Darcy himself trying to come up with something that would compensate.

"Of course, we haven't considered what the hospital has to offer…" I said after a moment. "Maybe I'll come across something in the lobby." I went downstairs and, after looking around a few minutes, was successful in finding some reading material which was much more sensible than what my poor brother could provide.

"Here, I've brought WE, Persons and Seven-and-Twenty. I'm sure we'll be much better amused now." Thus, we spent the rest of the afternoon indulging in speculation over whether Lindsey was in "rehab" again or whether Paris was truly as stupid as the media portrays her to be. Ah gossip, what an amiable and elegant pursuit!