The Unicorn Hunt: a fairy tale for Dirty Children

‘What’s for dinner, Mr Wabbit?’

The Wabbits are in bed, lying in each others’ arms. They have been doing that for which bunnies are known best.

‘Dinner, my love? Well, let’s see.’ Mr Wabbit kisses the top of his wife’s head and reaches for a hard- backed recipe book, its pages edged in gold but stained with jus and smudged with notes scribbled in fountain pen ink. He adjusts his pince- nez and rifles through pages. ‘I was thinking… A carbonnade of Somesuch. Served with chanterelles, and mashed potatoes. And carrots, of course’.

Mrs Wabbit climbs on top of him, leans down to kiss the pink of his nose. She nuzzles his neck, dusts his jawline with kisses, and then slowly slides down until she is positioned between his legs.

‘Meat’, she whispers, as she slowly licks a path across his pelvis.

‘Darling?…’

‘We shall need meat. We have none’.

Mr Wabbit shifts and sighs as her mouth moves.

*********

The forest. Branches hang heavy overhead and snap underfoot, are pushed up and aside in passing by a furred white paw. In a blank sky unmessed by stars the moon yawns a path across the forest, casting its light across a dense carpet of leaves, ferns and rotting logs. There is silver in the air, a brisk cold silence broken only by giggles, gasps and rushes of breath.

The bunnies have a- huntin’ gone, with a sack of rope slung across a tweed- clad back and a crop grasped in a cotton- gloved fist. They need meat for the pot: they have herbs and spices and stock for a sauce, and bread to mop up and wine to wash down and roots and worts to serve alongside, boiled and sliced and buttered. But no meat.

They tiptoe. They stalk. Every few minutes they pause, to kiss, and as their arms wrap and mouths meet their love is so bright that the moon gasps, its maw stretching wider, for not even the moon has seen its like. They break apart, all sighs, and after a false dawn of birdsong silence falls once more.

Suddenly there is a tussle of boughs and a flash of wing glimpsed in the corner of an eye. Mrs Wabbit lifts her crop with a swish. Mr Wabbit springs ready onto his front foot. His nose twitches. Her ears bob. He swings the bag of rope across his front and reaches in, gripping coils in a ready paw. A cloud moves across the moon; the forest falls dark.

Mrs Wabbit reaches for her husband’s arm, the weft of his wool jacket dense against the pink pads of her paws. Not a sound. Nothing. And then, from behind a clump of trees, as the cloud shifts and the moon spews light onto them all, they see it: its neck as white as the fur of Mrs Wabbit’s belly, its horn shimmering in the moonlight, long mane swinging as it combs the forest floor for the same mushrooms the Wabbits would have for their pot.

*********

‘Oh Mr Wabbit… Look.’ She grips his arm, transfixed. She gazes at the Unicorn, at its curling mane and swooping curves. ‘I want it.’

‘For the pot?’ murmurs Mr Wabbit, his fist tightening around the rope.

‘Oh no! I don’t want to eat it.’

Mr Wabbit looks at his wife as she stares at the creature, her mouth wet and slightly open, showing the merest suggestion of white, hungry teeth. He laughs quietly. His voice lowers. ‘Don’t you?’

She looks at him, a small smile on her lips.

‘I mean… I don’t want to hurt it. ‘

He turns his head towards her slowly, and his moustache twitches as one side of his mouth lifts into a smirk.

‘Don’t you?…’

Their eyes meet.

There is a flurry of leaves as the bunnies spring forward, crop lifted high and ends of rope flying. The Unicorn lifts its head, its blue eyes widening, but it makes no move to escape.

*********

They look down at their prey, sedate in its bonds, the rope secure against its flesh. The Unicorn is dazed, and moves gently beneath the sharp heels of the Wabbits’ shoes, their points digging into its neck with a sharp, possessive weight.

‘What do we do with it now?’ laughs Mrs Wabbit.

‘I don’t know. Whatever we like. Enjoy it. Use it. Hurt it. Make it look pretty. Prettier. It’s ours. We can do what we like with it’.

‘I’ve heard they’re fragile, solitary creatures. Not often found in captivity. But this one came quietly enough’. Mrs Wabbit taps at the Unicorn’s flank with her crop, enjoying its quiet whinnies.

Mr Wabbit kneels at the Unicorn’s side, and presses his mouth to its ear. ‘Yes. But that won’t last’.

The Unicorn looks up at them and opens its jaws in a laugh of pain and pleasure as the crop arcs through the air and Mr Wabbit’s paw rests against its neck. A waft of something delicious curls through the house: there’ll be dinner when they’re done. Lentil stew, served with mashed potatoes. And carrots, of course.

Photos: @_lcr_ on Fetlife.

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