Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rambo--A Fleegle Fractured Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, on a typical summer day, I was peacefully carving a voodoo doll of my former employer out of a radish, when Harry blew in the door, scrabbling across the floor so quickly that he left a small sonic boom in his wake. He informed me, in a terrified sqeak, that we had a visitor, and the visitor, was, well, pretty scary. So scary in fact, that Harry scuttled under the refrigerator without his bagpipes, smoking jacket, or box of Lindt truffles.

I carefully parked the paring knife in the radish's midsection, wandered to the front door, and recoiled in horror. Lounging atop a camo duffel bag was a furry white rabbit wearing killer shades and camo fatigues. Leaning against the duffel was a well-used backpack with a bunch of carrots lashed to the side and K-Bar knife dangling from the webbing pocket.

"Hello, ma'am" said this nightmarish vision.

"Erm, hello." I replied. "Can I, um, help you?"

"Looking for a spider named Harry. About so big." The rabbit held his paws about eight inches apart. "Wears sissy clothes and totes a set of bagpipes. You seen him?"

I cleared my throat. "Well, yes. He's currently under my refrigerator. He lives here when he isn't on a karaoke tour or off on one of his Terrorize the Tourist gigs."

"I'll wait."

The rabbit slid off the duffel and opened a side zipper, extracting a lethal-looking weapon and a cleaning kit. He propped the duffel and backpack against the porch rail, made himself comfortable, and proceeded to meticulously disassemble the weapon.

I retreated to the kitchen, fumbled for the phone, and called Roy.

....beep beep boop beeep beep booop beep...

"Hello?" queried the voice of sanity.

"Sweetheart, there's a Force Recon Rabbit named Rambo sitting on the porch cleaning a gun." (I deduced his name and service from the name tag rakishly embroidered on his flak vest).

Roy has lived with me for a long time, so instead of wasting time questioning my sanity or what I had to drink at lunchtime, he merely asked me what sort of  gun was being handled by those fluffy little paws.

"Just a second." I put down the phone and peeped out the door.

"Excuse me," I said. My husband wants to know what kind of gun you have there." I omitted any reference to fluffy little paws.

"M4A1 Close Quarters Battle Weapon (CQBW) with a Special Operations Peculiar Modification (SOPMOD) M4A1 kit."

I picked up the phone and repeated the gobblydegook of acronyms.

"Cool," said Roy. "I'll pick up some parsley nibbles at the grocery store and be right home."

Roy spent most of the afternoon on the porch sharing beers and swapping war stories with Rambo, while I pleaded with Harry to come out from under the refrigerator. He adamantly refused, even when I lovingly assembled a bowl of freshly picked raspberries topped with his favorite organic whipped cream.

When Roy finally wandered in the door (with carrot crumbles and splotches of gun oil on his t-shirt), he explained how we ended up with a ferocious fluff ball reconnoitering the front door.

Apparently Rambo had hopped all the way from Fort Bragg, where he works as a tracking rabbit for Force Recon. Having taken a few vacation days, he opted to spend part of his leave time hunting down the spider who snitched his custom-designed carrot peeler (scrimshaw shaft, glove-leather holster) after stiffing him for $100 in a poker game last year.

 "Uh oh," I said. What do we do now? Call his commanding officer? Call the police? Hire a hit fox?"

Roy thought about it a minute. "Maybe we can just return the peeler and the money and hope he hops on to his vacation destination." Rambo apparently was on his way to compete in a San Shou kickboxing championship.

I peered around the corner and noticed that, although the equipment was still piled up on the porch, there wasn't a single whisker to be seen anywhere in the vicinity.

"Uh oh again," I said to Roy while walking back into the kitchen. "Where did he go?"

Roy pointed to our meager vegetable garden. "He's out there kicking the tomato plants." Cherry tomatoes were popping down into Rambo's outstretched paws. When he had finished stripping the tomatoes, he picked off the miniature eggplants, pulled up a few radishes, and calmly proceeded to wash his paws and face in the pond. He then hopped back to the porch, picked up his weapon, and began perimeter patrol.

I fell on my knees in front of the refrigerator and explained the situation to Harry.

"Harry, you've got to return his peeler. And his hundred dollars. And maybe throw in a bouquet of squash blossoms or something. He's picking our garden clean! And scaring the turtles in the pond!"

A tiny whimper was heard from the sub-fridge.

In the meantime, our usually placid cat, Laptop, spied Rambo marching over our basil plants, and gave herself a quick lick-and-wash. She sashayed over to the rabbit, introduced herself with a small giggle, and offered to show him around the neighborhood. Then she twitched her whiskers in a deplorable display of flirtation, wrapping her tail around Rambo's rather impressive lats. So much for any help from the feline contingent.

Let's summarize the current situation. Harry's incommunicado. Roy's plinking at the dahlias with the M4A1. Laptop's playing fur games with a military lagomorph.

Taking matters firmly into my own hands. I pulled out Harry's drawer apartment and sifted through the contents. Among a vast assortment of items that I won't bother to recount, I found my engagement ring, a skein of quviuk lace yarn, a set of nude black-widow-spider cocktail sticks, two containers of truffled pate, and finally, underneath a rather impressive collection of Chocolate Frog cards, the carrot peeler and a wrinkled hundred-dollar bill.

I pilfered the latter two items (and my ring and yarn) and exited the back door.

"Excuse me," I said to Rambo. "I, erm, found your missing items and would like to return them to you with our heartfelt apologies. Sometimes Harry gets a bit, frisky, and er, forgets himself."

"Thank you, ma'am. I do appreciate your honorable behavior. Rambo gave me a breezy salute by folding over one ear and smartly tapping his forehead.

"If it's not too much to ask, I'd like to camp in your garden this evening. Laptop said she would provide some vegetarian MREs and entertainment. I'll make sure the yard is safe from meercats tonight." He chambered a round and sighted in on the last remaining cherry tomato.

"Right. Good, Hate it when those meercats attack." I mumbled as I cautiously backed away, a bit horrified at the sight of our last cherry tomato splattering over an annoyed-looking petunia plant.

The next morning, Rambo, along with his camouflage equipment, was gone.

Harry crept out from under the refrigerator. Roy pouted. Laptop received suggestive postcards from in-country locations.  I returned to my voodoo doll carving. A year passed.

  Another typical summer's day. The doorbell rang. I stuck a final pin into my He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-in-This Blog-for-Fear-of-Lawsuits durian-fruit voodoo carving and answered the door. There stood Rambo, resplendent in freshly pressed BDUs, bearing a frothy bouquet of catnip.

"Hello, Ma'am," said Rambo politely. "Laptop around?"

A furry mass shot between my legs and, in a totally unseemly manner, leapt into Rambo's waiting arms. The two of them overbalanced, rolled down the front path in a breathtaking display of revolving whiskers and fur, coming to rest in a patch of outraged day lilies. We didn't see either of them again for several hours.

When the two of them finally emerged from their flowery bower, they carefully groomed each other before wandering into the kitchen, paw in paw. Over a platter of carrot canapes, Rambo related a series of fur-raising escapades from the previous year and then announced that he would be teaching a Wilderness Survival course and Escape and Evasion at the Ranger camp in the next town.

"I must be getting soft," Rambo said bashfully. "I'd sure like a place to stay off-base. Those army-issue burrows are cramped and noisy. And the lettuce/timothy hay MREs leave a lot to be desired."

Laptop gave us her patented Irresistible Pleading Cat Expression That Causes Instant Human Capitulation.

We struck a deal. In exchange for joining the fleegle team here in Georgia, he'll get fresh lettuce, wireless internet, and a custom-built hutch. In return, Rambo has agreed to provide us with companionship, a comprehensive perimeter patrol schedule and, of course, his gorgeous angora fur.

Bet you were wondering if I would ever tie this story into fiber arts, right?

And so we all lived happily ever after, except for Harry, who spends a lot of time under the fridge playing mournful tunes on his bagpipes.


The End


Laritza said...

'......a set of nude black-widow-spider cocktail sticks!....'
This is a classic!

Unknown said...

Rambo is so cute. I think he will fit in just fine with the Fleegle family. It is such an interesting household. I love your blogs dearly. Keep us informed of the comings and goings of Rambo, Harry, and Mr. and Mrs. Fleegle

yarnlot said...

That is just an extraordinary fairy tale, except to Harry of course. And like all such stories there is a part of reality included. Do you really have such a nice Rambo-in-disguise as a member of the household now? Sometimes I still want to believe in fairy tales...

Kitty Kitty said...

Rambo is adorable..... Looks like he needs lots of cuddling as well. I am sure that tough side can be broken. :)

I love the fairy tale....

Carol said...

Bwahahaha! Just make sure Rambo keeps the pistols and whatnot away from Harry. Who knows what might happen...

Lacefreak said...

This would make a good movie since it is a magnificent tale with betrayal, revenge, romance and redemption! Oh, wait! This involved Harry so perhaps it also has the flavor of The Marx Brothers "A Night At The Opera". Brilliant as usual and Rambo is totally cute!

Vivianne said...

Superb :-) I want some of what you're smoking ;-)

Katie K said...

Love the ears!

Roberta said...

What a wonderfully clever introduction to Rambo!

Wondering when we'll see Harry's memoirs in print????

KPiep said...

Nothing better than an angora rabbit! I had a whole barn full when I was a teen - showed them on the national level and all - and still have buckets of wonderful wool!

Leslie said...

Best story ever! Thanks for the laugh in my blah day.

gayle said...

Hopefully Rambo and Harry will make up. They could both use a good game of gin rummy now and then.

Soo said...

I'm in love with Rambo!!!!

LittleBerry said...

you couldn't resist those ears could you ;o) who could?

GJabouri said...

Wait, wait ... is that the SAME Laptop who (as you reported in an earlier post) was chasing a rabbit all around your living room???

Kathleen Dames said...

What a hoot! Congrats on the newest member of chez Fleegle.

Judith said...

....and that's how the Fleegles came to own a rabbit.....

great story!!

Unknown said...

Are we to expect little catangoras soon? Or would they be Rambittens? I'm sure they will be charming!

Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

Full name Rambouillet?

Chrome64 said...

Hi-larious! Can't wait to hear more of Rambo's adventures!

sheepthrills said...

That's quite a yarn! Loved it ;-) Has the fleegle family met Franklin and his Delores and Harry? I think you would enjoy one another's company. Looking forward to more tales!

Unknown said...

Hey Fleagle. I ran across your blog while looking for my daughter's blog on BlogSpot. The name caught my attention first, and then the beautiful spinning and knitting. Your work is spectacularly beautiful, rivaled only perhaps by that of my ex-wife, who was nothing short of a master, particularly with spinning. I still have a sweater that she knitted for me out of hand-spun alpaca...apart from the memories and a few old pictures, one of the few things remaining from a marriage that commencedand ended before its time. Your work is truly lovely.

The name of your blog caught my attention because my ex was given to attaching cute names to things that were often imaginary or inanimate, such as her invisible aardvarks, and she actually named our ceramic fireplace, yes, you guessed it, "Fleagle"--it used to fleage on cold New England nights and keep us warm. Anyway, my daughter is an avid knitter and will surely appreciate your work as well. My wife has also taken up weaving and loves textures and colors, as you clearly do. Keep up the great work and the lovely, interesting blog.