THE WINCHESTER-NABU DETECTIVE AGENCY

Cats photoshopped as noir detectives

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ADVENTURES WITH GUS – CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR: RABBIT ANGSTROM

Expand for Adventures with Gus Table of Contents


Where we left off…

Detective Inspector Guster Nabu has been focused on parkour practice, tree climbing, and being outside as much as possible.

THE WINCHESTER-NABU ESTATE. EXTERIOR.

As far as we’re concerned, Spring arrived back in February during 2018. There may have been a little snow, but temperatures were mild, birds were coming out of the trees, squirrels were scampering like mad. Gus and I may miss the ease of following wildlife and maging tracks in the snow compared to dirt, but he’s definitely happier without freezing cold paws.

During one of our hikes at the end of February, Gus seemed interested in only a couple of things: climbing trees and smelling what lies beneath the soil. I had my head up to watch the birds flutter around from tree to tree. They seemed pretty busy.

gus
“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU SAW?”

 

We took a turn around the workshop and ended up in the junkyard — excuse me — “salvage” area. It’s bordered by the sloping hill topped by Bunny Hollow. I was excited to see a critter there, barely out in the open at the edge of the woods. What surprised me was that Gus didn’t even notice it or didn’t care.

Gus kept poking around stacks of cinder blocks, bricks, and various askew piles of PVC piping. I took out my phone to try and capture the eastern cottontail with the zoom. The bunny seemed to have something more moving with it in space. It was so well camouflaged that it wasn’t until we were home that I saw it. I scrolled through the picture and zoomed in as much as possible. They were relatively blurry, zoom on a cell phone isn’t the greatest quality. It looked to me like there could be antlers on its head and the slight change in body shape for a wing.

wolpertinger

If I can trust my own eyes and novice levels in GIMP (the Photoshop knock-off), my suspicions are correct. It’s a wolpertinger! An American variety of the European species. Gus and I had long suspected that they lived on our little mountain in New Jersey, but all we had to go on were the found antlers and bunny shaped tracks. These are no ordinary bunnies though.

Revisiting case file 18 from last September, there are detailed notes on our research and why we had the theory about wolpertingers living among the eastern cottontails in this area. We’ve left the fictitious worlds of Durotar and Dun Morogh. This is New Jersey.

This is as close to confirmation as Gus and I could get at this time. Professor Oliver Winchester reminded us that it takes a live or deceased specimen for examination and study in order to definitely prove that it’s not an eastern cottontail mutation, trick of the light, or a jackalope. It would be a remarkable and notable scientific achievement if we found an already deceased one for necropsy. (Take that, Useless Communications Degree!)

We don’t know the specifics of wolpertinger DNA, migration patterns, or whether they hibernate. It’s an assumption at this time that wolpertingers reproduce the same way as eastern cottaintails or other members of the rabbit (leporidae) family. Oliver also brought up a great point about the antler rack; it could be proof that the wolpertinger I saw was a male. However there are other mammal species where antlers can appear on any sex. Do antlers interfere with mating if both partners have them? Do they shed antlers the way the whitetail bucks do? Are the antlers used to fight during mating season? So many questions.

For now, “Rabbit Angstrom” is an unconfirmed-confirmation that means we need to continue exploring the area for a wolpertinger population. It’s enough for us to keep the case file open.

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