Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters other than the hares that are obviously not familiar to those who have seen Alice in Wonderland (2010) or those who have read the original series of books by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson a.k.a. Lewis Carroll. This is basically, how I would imagine the March Hare/ Thackery Earwicket beginning his life before meeting the Mad Hatter and the Dormouse.
PS, there's lots of Scottish slang I've sprinkled in here seeing as Thackery did have a pretty heavy accent in the latest Alice in Wonderland film. I put the translation in parenthesis beside the word for those who don't want to try to find out what it means on their own. To the Scottish, I apologize if I butchered your lingo.
The morning was calm and there was a slight chill the soft, pleasant breeze on the hills. Within the hills were hollowed out tunnels with which the many separate entrances were covered by simple cedar doors rounded at the top and for most had a small window just above the middle. One door in particular was a light colored wood complimented by the small gold doorknob with a basic keyhole. Behind that door was a small home with simple furniture with an even simpler design and arrangement. It was the home of the Earwicket family; A family of hares amongst several other families of hares that lived in the hills, far from Underland's ruling and gracious White Queen.
The Earwicket family consisted of six hares. The mother, Rosalie Earwicket raised her litter of five on her own after her husband left. There was no goodbye, not even a sign of any trouble in the relationship. Rosalie and Zackius seemed as happy as can be. Just one morning, Rosalie looked out the window after noticing her husband's place in the bed was empty. She saw him hopping away wearing his overcoat and hat carrying a suitcase. He looked over his shoulder to see her watching him. Without a smile or a wink, he tipped his hat and took his leave, never to return and never to see his children.
Despite the heartache she felt while she finished carrying her children, she was a strong doe (term for female rabbit) and made it alright on her own. The first bun to be delivered was Thomas. He was long faced, tall with a mass of long slick brown fur only complimented by his chestnut brown eyes. As he grew older, he was the leader of the Earwicket family and was easily determined the "man of the house" or in their terms, the "heid-the-bra".
The next was little Madeline. She too, had a simple brown color in her fur and had a similar appearance of that of her older brother. She was always the most proper and helped her mother around the house whenever possible. Always throwing formal tea parties with her dolls and her youngest brother, but we'll get to him soon. Her most recognizable feature was her sense of fashion, as she always dressed as if she was from the Victorian age. She loved to wear lace and frills. Along with the frills and flowers, she always wore a neat little red bow on top of her head.
Quickly following her was the second boy, young Matthias. He had smooth grayish brown fur and dark brown eyes. He was always independent and loved spending quiet afternoons with a good book in his father's old chair by the large stone fireplace. Everything he ever read in the books throughout the house, he remembered with the slightest of ease. Whenever the family would go out, he was easy to spot with his overly large dark green hat that was once worn many times by his father. Throughout the hills, the older hares noticed quite the resemblance between Matthias and his father.
Then came the youngest son, Thackery. He was the only one born with wiry grayish brown fur and the only one with his father's honey colored irises. No matter what Rosalie did to the young boy's fur, it would never stay smooth. After brushing it down with a wet brush, his hair would spring right back into place. He never really had much of a sense of adventure and tended to stay near his mother. He discovered after helping his mother in the kitchen one day, that he had a great talent at cooking. He read everything he could about cooking and had a passion to one day serve for the white queen. He also helped prepare and participated in his sister, Madeline's tea parties. Nothing made him feel more at ease than tea time with his family.
The last and the youngest member of the Earwicket family was Emily. She was a true beauty with smooth caramel colored fur and soft brown eyes. She was generally quiet with the sweetest disposition. She never spoke out of turn and she was polite to everyone she met. She never saw the evil in anything and loved spending time with Thackery. Those two were inseparable. Wherever Thackery was, Emily was close behind. Every morning, she would go outside and pick a single flower and put it in her fur on her head. She loved wearing white lilies the best. At the end of the day, she would replant the flower outside for the next day. She was an exact copy of her mother when Rosalie was the same age.
That's the Earwicket family. They always stuck together and never really had any problems or dysfunctions. They also had quite a sum of money from their grandparents and when their father left, he did not take any of the money he and his wife had made. Life seemed perfect and easy, especially on a carefree morning such as these. However, there was that slight feeling that something somewhere far from there was brewing.
The door opened and Rosalie took a deep breath with a smile. She looked behind her as her children were finished putting on their coats and for Matthias, his signature hat.
"Are we ready, weans (pronounced: we-uns)?" she asked in her thick Scottish accent.
"Ready!" They each replied as they grabbed hands. She turned around and counted her children, one, two, three, four…one was missing. She sighed and shook her head as she realized who wasn't ready.
"Thackery! Thackery!" she called quickly followed by the pitter patter of paws running down the hardwood floor of the entrance hall and nearly sliding into the dark wood of the grandfather clock.
"Sorry, maw!" he replied in his own accent. He smiled showing his crooked front tooth. "I couldn't find my waistcoat!" he explained.
"Well…" she began licking her paw and patted down his head trying to smooth out the natural Mohawk. "…oh, this fur just won't listen." She complained throwing her hands in surrender. "Oh well. Can't do a hee haw 'bout that, now." (hee haw – nothing, zero) "Let's be off, weans."
And with that, they all exited the house as Rosalie turned and locked the door behind her. In a single-file line, they headed for the meadow over the hill. The meadow had slightly taller blades of grass and it was sprinkled with many patches of clovers and blossoms. It was a gathering spot for the hare families. Mostly for spring time, near mating season. It was in fact that time and all of the young kits (young rabbits) were brought to the meadow to find their future mate. The Earwicket children were of age to be matched with their mate and Rosalie couldn't be any more excited.
"I want my doe to be a golden brown." Thomas said matter-of-factly.
"Who cares what she looks like?" Matthias replied to his brother. "I just want to be able to have an intelligent conversation with her." So typical of the young scholar to want to find someone with as large a vocabulary of his. This would prove difficult however, as none of the other families had as great a library as Matthias' own personal collection.
"I want a big strong buck (male rabbit)and lots of my own leverets (baby rabbits)." Madeline said brushing off her pastel pink dress and adjusting her bow as they climbed down the hill.
"Oh? How many?" Her mother asked.
"Hm…" Madeline thought. "Perhaps hunners of leverets!" She said spreading her arms wide. Hunners meaning, plenty more than ten of something. In this case, over ten children.
"Hunners? Well, I got my work cut out for me as a grandmother then." Rosalie joked. "How 'bout you, Emily?"
"I don't know. The first litter will do me just fine." She replied with a white smile.
"What of you, Thackery?" Rosalie asked as Thackery carefully walked down the hill kicking a rock. He simply shrugged. He hadn't a care for finding a mate or how many children he wanted. "You henerine?" (don't know?) Rosalie asked her son.
"I just don't care." He mumbled. No one in the hills really liked him, so he had already given up on finding the perfect mate.
"Oh, someday you will." Rosalie said. "Someday." She repeated as they came to the others. The kits were running around in rather nice clothes, talking with each other and a few pairs of bucks were fighting over a doe they liked. A few females were even kicking some males if they didn't want to be with them. Thackery most certainly didn't want that type of rejection.
"Now, weans. Before I let you go, there's a few things you need to know. Girls, if you don't like a boy, tell them politely that you aren't interested. If they persist, give 'em a right clout (hit) square in the jaw." The girls nodded. The Earwicket boys gulped and gave each other frightened looks. This was not what they had in mind.
"Now, boys. If you see a doe that you like, you give them a bow and engage in polite conversation. If the conversation fails, show off your skills in leaping and even do a few flips to keep their interest. Chances are, another buck will find interest in your girl. If this happens, you kick him as hard as you can to challenge him. He'll either back off or engage in combat. If you win, he'll leave and you take the girl by the hand and she's yours." Rosalie finished explaining.
"That's it?" Thomas asked.
"That's completely radge!(crazy) Ah'mno doin' that!" Thackery yelled. Rosalie grabbed him by the back of his collar of his pale yellow shirt.
"Oh, yur doin it, Thackery Elliot Earwicket." She commanded. Matthias and Thomas snickered. "Alright, go on and may yer lums reek lang and weil (May your chimneys produce a great profusion of smoke - a general good luck statement)."
Several hours past and the children had no trouble getting into the event. Thomas quickly found the caramel colored doe he'd been dreaming of and she didn't even have to think before taking his hand with a great smile on her face. Thomas, after about forty-five minutes with no luck in finding an intelligent girl, finally found something close in a large dark brown doe who already was talking with an even larger buck. But Thomas had no fear, he took a deep breath and kicked the buck as hard as he could in the gut. The buck looked at him enraged that little Thomas had picked a fight with him and came back at him with a strong kick. However, Thomas ducked and delivered another kick. Kick after kick, the buck eventually gave up and the doe quickly took Thomas' hand.
Madeline quickly found the strong buck she was looking for after the buck survived several matches for her hand that she easily took. Emily, however, had tons of bucks fighting for her at once. The sad part, she didn't care for any of them. By the end of the day, she couldn't pick a mate and kicked the winners of the matches in the jaw once they persisted her.
Thackery sat under a shady tree and just simply watched the many battles and only observed the clouds rolling by as they rolled away to leave the sky. He didn't even want to try. He was too afraid of getting hit. Besides, who would go with a ratty-looking little buck like him?
Night fell and Rosalie's children were the talk of the adults as they all, but the two found a perfect partner. Their family had just become even more perfect than it already was. Thackery held Emily's hand as the family headed for home. Emily squeezed it reassuringly to her brother. Thackery smiled. He was just glad that he had one good friend in his sister.
After they got home, Rosalie and Thackery made a nice carrot, cabbage stew with a side of bread and butter. They said their prayers and broke their bed. Their individual nightly routines then took place. Thomas brushed his long strong teeth and practiced a few kicks against the wall, with which Rosalie got angry as usual with his actions.
"If you kick too hard you could break your back!" she scolded, but every night Thomas kicked.
Matthias finished another book after brushing his teeth, turning out the light and going to bed. Madeline, brushed her teeth and fur and joined her brother Thomas. Emily replanted her Lily, brushed her teeth and went to bed. Thackery cleared away the dishes with his mother, skipped brushing his teeth and didn't think to bother brushing out his wiry fur. He just went straight to his own bed.
It was this way every night.
Suddenly, Thackery was awoken by his mother.
"Thackery, wake up!" she said. Thackery rubbed at his eyes and saw his clock only read "two o'clock" in the morning.
"Mama, why so early? It's still dark?" Thackery asked.
"Just get out of bed and head to the door quickly." She said calmly running out of the room to wake the others. Thackery stretched and yawned before getting out of bed and changing into a pair of day clothes and his grey coat. When he got to the door, his brothers and sisters looked just as sleepy in their own clothes.
"What's going on?" Thackery asked hoping someone would know.
"I dunno." Thomas said with a yawn. Just then, Rosalie ran down the hall with a large bag full of food. "Mother? What are we doing?" Thomas asked. Rosalie flung open the door.
"Don't ask, just keep up with me and heid ur wheesht (be quiet)." She said sternly. The kits obeyed although they were still very confused as to what was happening. As they swiftly and silently made their way out of the hills and toward the direction of the White Queen's castle a soft scream filled the air. The Earwicket children looked at each other as they continued moving making sure that the screams were all in their minds.
After running for what seemed like hours, their mother slid under a black berry bush followed by her children.
"Maw," Emily said softly, "where are we? I want to go home." Rosalie gently set her hands on her daughter's shoulders.
"Emily. We can't go home. I'm going to dig us a tunnel room that we're gonna have to share for now. I can't tell you what's going on just know that…" she looked at the frightened faces of her other children. "…everything's going to be alright." She said as she began to dig a very large hole under the bush until the tunnel was just big enough for the six hares. "Everyone, inside the tunnel, and stay completely quiet." The children did as they were told as they huddled together and fell fast asleep.
Thackery did not sleep a wink. He was laying in the middle between Emily and Thomas and stayed rolled on his back staring up at the darkness, the moon light outside pouring in through the entrance of the tunnel. He sighed, rolled onto his right side and snuggled in eventually, falling asleep.
The next morning, Rosalie heard something making her ears perk up. She sat straight up and looked over at her sleeping children huddled close together. She quietly sniffed the air near the entrance and ducked turning to the back of the tunnel and started to dig quickly waking up the kits.
"Maw, what are you—" Madeline started before her mother shushed her.
"Something's coming." She whispered. "I need you all to help me dig a back way." The children nodded and quickly helped claw away the mud and the pebbles of the earth. Suddenly, Rosalie was pulled out of the tunnel by a big red, metal hand. "No!" she cried as she was pulled away from the safety of the tunnel.
"Mother!" The children cried except for Thomas who kept digging.
"Don't stop digging!" he ordered. The others were about to get back to work when the girls and Matthias were pulled out too. Thackery stopped and looked at his older brother. Soon they would be pulled out, too. "Thackery, keep digging!" Thomas said stopping and turning toward another hand going to grab his ears. Thomas took hold of the hand first and bit down as hard as he could at the joints of the fingers. The hand pulled back out accompanied by a yelp.
"I'll take care of it." A male voice snapped from outside followed this time not by a metal hand, but a hand covered with a black leather glove. This time, at a much faster pace, the hand yanked Thomas out.
"Thackery!" Thomas yelled. Thackery became even more frantic and dug faster finally breaking through. Light poured in through the back entrance, but he was quickly pulled out the front by his hind legs by a red metal hand. His brothers and sisters were also being held up by their hind legs as Rosalie was held up painfully by her ears though she didn't shed a single tear.
"I'm so sorry, bunnies." The knave of hearts said mockingly. "but by order of the Red Queen, all vermin including, rabbits, mice, and the very disgusting…hares—" Rosalie spat in his face before he could finish.
"Clawbaw, getgoosed! Yer maw cares!" she swore. Let's just say she said some very nasty things to the Knave and although he didn't understand her Scottish slang, he knew he had just been insulted.
"All vermin," he continued raising his tone, "are to be slaughtered!" he finished. The children began to tremble and pleaded to be released, but to no avail. The card soldiers that held them would not be swayed by tears. Rosalie knew this as a red card brought a sharp knife against her throat.
"You're welcome to any last words, Mrs. Earwicket." The knave said.
"Weans," she said to her children in a calming voice, "it'll be alright. Whit's fur ye'll no go by ye (What's meant to happen, will happen). Close your eyes." She said as she shut her own. And with that, the card soldier made a swift pull of the knife and dropped her lifeless body to the ground. The children sobbed with their eyes shut tight, except for Thackery who watched in terror as his mother's blood spread across the dry grass around her.
"The Queen orders to strip the little ones." The knave reminded the soldiers who quickly tore away their clothes.
"Why strip away our claes?" Thomas asked proudly.
"I suppose the queen doesn't think that scum like you deserves nor needs clothing. Question not your queen." The knave replied. Secretly, he despised treating them this way and it seemed unethical, but he did a magnificent job of not showing this weakness towards the children.
Thomas, just as his mother had done, spat at his heart-shaped eye patch. "Doon witthe bloody Red Queen!" he yelled making his accent as thick as he could. He was held up high as his throat was slit and his body joined Rosalie's followed by Madeline, and Matthias. By now, the grip that the red soldier had on Thackery's hind legs was so tight, blood slowly ran down his legs. It was either his or Emily's turn.
"How about the girl?" One of the soldiers suggested.
"No!" Thackery yelled. "Leave her alone, ye numptie hogbeast!" After just realizing that that phrase just spurted out of his mouth, he quickly covered it with this paws. The knave gave a quick glance at the card holding Emily and nodded.
"The girl." The card held her up and before she could scream, the metal slashed and she fell to the hard ground forming a small pool of red. "Now, my favorite of the Earwicket bunch. The little ratty one. You know, I don't know why I didn't kill you first. You're the most disgusting thing I've ever laid my eyes on." The knave spat.
"Your eye on, sir." The card soldier corrected.
"Right, eye. I've ever laid my eye on, yes. Kill him." He commanded. Thackery was held up and although his mother told him and his brothers and sisters time and time again, never kick your hind legs too hard or you'll break your back, Thackery kicked back as hard as he could making the card soldier let go. Thackery fell to the ground hard with a thud. Thackery, luckily didn't break his back and he bolted as fast as he could away from the knave and the soldiers toward the direction of the White Queen's castle. He heard the thundering hooves of the large black horse and the pounding of the running card soldiers behind him. Although his feet hurt more than any pain he had ever felt, he kept going as fast as his little legs could carry him. Eventually, the noise began to die. He glanced over his shoulder only for a moment and saw that the knave and his men were falling back.
"Why are we stopping, sir?" One of the cards asked.
"He will grow tired and by then, he'll be easier to dispose of." The knave replied.
Thackery slowed down, but didn't stop until it got dark. He spotted a bush just beside a decrepit old windmill not far from a quaint little village which wasn't too far from the White Queen's castle. He ducked down into the bush and collapsed onto his stomach from exhaustion. He had never run that fast or far before and as his mother would say, 'he was jeeked (tired).' He sat up and examined his ankles. The cuts had pretty much healed, but his feet were covered in blood and the pads of his paws were sore. He lay back under the protection of the bush and rolled onto his side. He laid there and tears fell down his face. He knew that he was truly alone. As far as he knew, he was the last hare left in all of Underland.
The next morning, Thackery was too afraid to go out and venture for food, so all day he hid from the noisy bustling people of the village. As he sat there watching the people, he thought of his mother. He figured out that the night that his mother made him and his family leave, she was trying to save them from the Knave whom, as he will later discover, burned and destroyed the homes of the hills and slaughtered all of the hares who were fast asleep when the knave and his men attacked.
Then he thought of the mice. The mice population lived near the Red Queen. Surely, none of them lived either. The mice lived in their own village and miniature houses. It would seem quite easy to destroy those and the small inhabitants.
Then, there were the rabbits. The cousins of the hares, but they were rarely in contact. The rabbits were of higher society, it seemed. Unlike the hares that were mostly shades of brown and cream, they were white, black, grey, spotted, dutch, angora, etcetera, etcetera. More than likely, the Red Queen had the knave burn down their homes, too. Also unlike the hares, the rabbits lived in a large community of their own, their houses made of a light oak, painted in light colors, topped with straw for the roofs. Those, by now were gone, too, including the inhabitants, same as the mice and the hares.
Thackery began to cry feeling even more alone than before.
A few more days went by and Thackery was bone thin. He hadn't eaten in fear of being eaten himself. It was sunset and the people of the town were going to their own homes. Suddenly, he spotted a man with long wavy red hair wearing a tall lace top hat trading with a woman who held a large basket of carrots and lettuce. Thackery's mouth drooled at the thought of steamed carrots and some lite ranch dressing. The man with the hat gave the woman a simple bonnet adorned with flowers and she handed him the basket. The man smiled, tipped his hat and left. Thackery couldn't take it any longer.
He hobbled out toward where the man was going. He figured, either he would die of starvation or the man would dispose of him himself. Either way, he thought he was going to die somehow. The man opened to the door to his house which was filled with light and an aroma that matched that of a strong rubber cement. Thackery hopped to the door and before the man could close the door, he looked down to see the starving kit on his door step.
"Help me?" Thackery gasped before collapsing. His eyes gently fell closed.
The man looked around to see if his mother could be a around. After seeing no one, he gently scooped up the small hare and brought him inside, closing the door behind him. The man took off his hat and set it on the coat rack by the door, still cradling the exhausted kit. The man pulled out stacks of cloth and a soft layer of cotton and lay Thackery down gently.
"Poor thing." He said looking Thackery over. He smiled a gapped-toothed smile when he saw that the little hare was still breathing. "Well, that's a grand thing, that is." He said putting a kettle of water over a fire to boil. "I'm sure he'll wake up soon." He told himself.
Thackery woke up moments later to the sound of a loud whistling sound of the hot kettle. He slowly sat up and saw the man from earlier and began to panic realizing he was laying on a sewing table. The man pulled the kettle off of the metal rod holding it over the fire and brought it to two tea cups. He carefully poured the hot water into the cups and put in small packets of tea. The man turned and smiled seeing that Thackery had awoken.
"Hey there." He said calmly. Thackery began to hyperventilate as the man approached him, but he couldn't find the strength to run away, so he froze. "It's alright, little thing. Do you want something to eat? Do you like tea?" he asked his large green eyes beaming. Thackery slowed down his breathing and nodded. "While you were napping," the man explained, "I cleaned your cuts. Rather nasty. You must have found some trouble." Low and behold, Thackery looked at his ankles that were now bandaged and his feet were clean of the blood.
"Thank you." Thackery said timidly.
"Why, you are quite welcome." The man said cheerfully bringing over a bowl of steamed carrots and the cups of tea. He handed Thackery the cup and helped him gulp it down. Thackery sighed already feeling better. He turned, his yellow eyes bugged and he scarfed down the carrots. "Well, you were hungry!" he said. Thackery nodded, his mouth and cheeks full of carrot.
"I believe we have not been properly introduced. My name is Tarrant Dupre Hightopp, hatter for the White Queen. And you are?" he asked after making a small bow.
Thackery swallowed the carrots in his mouth. "Thackery Earwicket…hare…the last hare." He said sadly. Tarrant sat down in his chair.
"I heard about the Red Queen killing the rodents. That dreadful woman." He said. "It's amazing you escaped the knave of hearts. You're not the only one."
Thackery's ears perked up. "What?"
Tarrant nodded. "The dormouse, the great uh…Dormouse and his daughter, Mallymkun." He proclaimed pointing to an overly large mouse sleeping in a wooden chair. Thackery's eyes went wide. Never had he seen a mouse of such great size. It was almost as big as he was. The dormouse opened his tired eyes.
"How do you do?" he asked falling back asleep.
"I enjoys sleeping, but tells magnificent stories." Tarrant informed.
"And Mallymkun?" Thackery asked.
"Someone called?" A small voice from the base of the stairs said. It was a small white dormouse wearing a pale blue night dress. She yawned and rubbed at her eyes.
"Ah, yes, Mally." Tarrant said excitedly. "We have more guests that escaped the Red Queen's wrath." He said putting his hand flat so she could climb up. Tarrant lifted her up and placed his hand down on the table so she could get a better look at the ratty hare.
"Down with the Red Queen!" Mallymkun cried with a laugh, her voice thick with an English accent. Her father lifted his head and mumbled.
"Off with her head." He fell back to asleep once more.
"I'm Mallymkun." She said shaking Thackery's paw.
"Uh…Thackery Earwicket." He said with a smile. He laughed and kicked his feet together. "I feel veery braw, now, I do!" he explained. Tarrant smiled.
"I didn't notice that accent before! It's very charming!" he said.
"Scottish?" Mallymkun asked.
"Me maw." Thackery replied. "I just picked it up."
"Song singing." The dormouse said sleepily. Tarrant clapped.
"Ooh! This is a good one! Thackery, you're going to like this." He said as they began to sing,
"Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder where you're at.
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea tray in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little bat.
How I wonder where you're at!"
The hatter and the dormouse laughed at their little song and Thackery smiled. He felt then that he was truly welcome. A march hare amongst a hatter and two dormice.
"Well, as fun as this has all been, I think a young lady and a young man need to sleep." Tarrant said to Mallymkun and Thackery.
"G'night, 'Atta!" Mallymkun said as she jumped off the table and headed up the stairs.
"Where do I sleep?" Thackery asked. Tarrant pondered for a moment.
"You can sleep in the guest room. It's got a nice big bed with goose feather sheets." Tarrant said carrying Thackery up the stairs. "Now, I don't want you to walk just yet until you've got your strength." He said soundly more fatherly than normal. He nudged open a door at the end of the hall and switched on the light. The room was kind of small for a human, but for Thackery, a small hare, it was perfect. Tarrant pulled aside the comforter of the bed and gently set Thackery down, pulling the comforter back over him.
"Thank you so much, Tarrant." Thackery said as Tarrant began to leave.
"You're welcome so much, Thackery." Tarrant gave one last smile before turning out the light. Thackery sighed as he snuggled under the warm blanket. Finally, he found a new place to call home.
A/N: And that's that. I would imagine that as Thackery grows older and as he consumes more and more sugar and honey from the large amounts of tea consumed, he becomes more and more ADD and well…completely mad. I read that if rabbits have great intakes of sugar, not only is it bad for their fragile digestive system, but it messes them up quite psychologically which would greatly explain a lot. I own a rabbit, so I such know.
I'm thinking of writing a sequel or two of Thackery's progression into adulthood, but I do have a lot of worries unlike the carefree world of Wonderland. So, we'll see!