Now all of this time, El-ahrairah was dancing and singing and mating with as many females as he could find. He was boasting about his friendship with Frith and told whoever would listen about the fact that he was to visit Frith’s table to receive a great gift.
The morning was cold, but El-ahrairah was warmed by his own naivety. If it hadn’t been for the arrival of a swift overhead, he would have continued in compete ignorance, happy though it made him.
“News, news, news,” the tiny swift screamed from on high.
El-ahrairah looked skywards and beckoned the swift to land. And so the bird did.
“What news makes your message so urgent?” Asked the rabbit.
“It is Frith,” the swift replied breathlessly. “He has given the fox and weasel Cunning hearts and sharp teeth and to the cat he has given eyes that can see in the night and they have gone away from Frith’s place so as to hunt and kill anything that walks the earth.”
“That is not the news I wished to hear,” said El-ahrairah.
“A little silly of him, don’t you agree?” Asked the bigger of the two rabbits.
The smaller one had allowed his mind to wander somewhat as the tale rolled out, yet again.
“Silly of who?”
“El-ahrairah, you half-wit. Have you not been listening?”
The smaller took his rebuke and scanned the distance between them and the oval grass. The mornings were getting brighter and he could smell man in the distance.
“I think I may give the oval a miss this morning. I’ll just pass my hraka here if that’s okay.”
“Scared of a little scent of man, are we?”
A huge squawk exploded above their heads of the two rabbits and the larger of the two passed instant hraka.