The Warren Report

Today’s Guest Poster is our very own Puffy the Magic Dragon. It is – I hope – the start of a new series. Charge your glasses, fellow Pubsters, as we embark on a voyage of discovery!

(Image Credit: Watership-Down-Under)

Tithy snuggled down in his dark, cosy, clean-earth-scented bunk-room in the Great Southern Warren, twitching his rabbit ears for sounds of returning bunnies. He knew they had gone for a forage, looking for new patches of sweet plants to eat. Tithy stayed behind, resting with a headache. Thinking of eagles, and Willie, gave him migraines.

Tithy sighed loudly. It was hard being Top Rabbit. It was easier before he won the Big Count last season. Now everyone wanted everything sorted. They chattered throughout the night about how they needed new tunnels or how they did not like the new roster for tunnelling. Then there was Jinny who wanted to dig a new warren wing all for herself, even if it meant moving some of the Elders.

The kitchen staff kept complaining that the food supply was getting lower. But the young rabbits were too busy playing hide-and-seek because no-one was teaching them how to find the best food. All the older folk were not happy about doing daily food forages when the young ones were not learning anything, and they all expected him to fix it.

Tithy called for Mellie. She kindly shifted the cold compress between his ears, and said, ‘Tithy, my dear, you cannot stay here. Look at your stick-board. You have a visit to the hospital wing this afternoon, a session in the kitten nursery, and you are opening the new gym tomorrow morning. Remember your words, “A fit rabbit is a happy rabbit”.’

‘Yeah, yeah,’

Mellie boxed Tithy’s ears. ‘Are you listening to me? GET UP.’

‘OK, OK. But when do I get a holiday?’

‘You had one last month, remember – you spent a week, well two days actually, with the Elders on level five.’

‘I said holiday. Not work. If I claim travel carrots for it, it is not a holiday. We agreed on that in parley time.’

Mellie kicked Tithy right on his white tail. When he bounced back off the wall, he gave in, and whimpered, ‘I am up already, see. Where is everyone?’

‘Well, Slotto is waterboarding er bathing those rabbits who came down to the door of the warren saying they are running from a brushfire.’

Tithy replied, with a grimace, ‘They did smell of smoke but that could be a screen. Ha ha, Mellie. Smoke-screen. I made a joke. Smoke. Screen. Smoke-screen.’

She gave Tithy an indulgent smile. ‘Yes, dear.’

Meanwhile, out In The Bush, the foraging party came across some succulent wild melon plants. The green vines, huge leaves, and fat yellow melons nestling on the bank of the quiet creek were magnificent. They saw no less than ten melons, each the size of a rabbit’s hind leg.

The arguing started immediately. ‘Let’s chew off this one at the base and take it all back to the kitchen. Everyone will be thrilled. We will get a fern crown for sure,’ said Histo-Purr in his squeaky voice. His vocal cords had never quite grown up.

‘Don’t be a dunce, just take those nice ripe melons, they will make fantastic melon sauce to have with our mushroom bake. And when the next melon ripens we can get more. We can have melons all Warm Season!’ rejoiced Willie.

‘Aw, not you again, you always rabbit on so. Stopping us from our fun. We don’t need more later, there is always another plant. And don’t start on that grassfire nonsense. Three of our wise ones said it will never happen. We are listening to them!’ yelled Hoek as he pulled up the plant. ‘Come on guys, er and girlies, grab a vine and help me carry it home.’

(Image Credit: An American in Australia)

Tithy met them at the tunnel door. He waved a eucalyptus leaf back and forth in their honour, and led the foraging party down the tunnel to the parley room. All the rabbits were waiting. Top Rabbit Tithy proclaimed a holiday. (Except for the cleaners. And the female rabbits. Of course.)

‘See, I told you I had it all worked out. And look at our brave Forage Rabbits. They deserve a fern crown, and shall have one!’ (‘Except for Willie,’ he whispered to Mellie.)

Laura shouted very loudly, ‘But what about the smokey rabbits? That is three this week and two the week before. They say they had to hop fast from their warren as smoke was all over the place. They say it is getting hotter and windier on the plains and no grass is growing.’

Kindo spoke softly, ‘We should bring the smokey rabbits in here, give them some green tea and ask what happened. We need to know what might happen to our own warren.’

Morin jumped up. ‘This is a great warren, a safe warren. We have a great leader, our Tithy. Since he took over from Scarlet, you can see how much safer it is. We do not have to move. We have food and the dingos are far away. Nothing is going to happen to OUR home. These smokeys, they say there is no food in their plain. So they are coming here for OUR food, soon there will be enough plains rabbits to take over and throw us out. And those stories of smoke, they are lies, We all know plains rabbits are sneaks.’

Orda chimed in. ‘Yes, Laura and Morin are right. We must stop the plains rabbits. Drive them away. And anyone who does not want to help can get out!’

Not all the rabbits thumped in agreement but the ones who did thumped very loudly. The wet rabbits in the cells could feel it and wondered where the common rabbit-code had gone to in this strange warren.

Tithy raised his hand. ‘Now, now. Let me and my mini-stares think on the best thing to do. Just trust me.’ More enthusiastic thumping followed this proclamation. It went on and on because no-one wanted to be seen to be the first to stop. In the end, Mellie gave a throat slitting gesture and silence immediately prevailed.

Tithy, his day’s work done, settled in his bunk room to scratch out a speech to give at the kitten nursery. The smokey plains rabbits dripped water from their fur, way down in level 25, the one with the thickest walls.

The rabbit-brethren gathered for Melon Soup, and in the High Dining Room, the Top Rabbit and his Mini-Stares dined on sauté melon chunks and roasted melon root.

In a private tunnel, Willie and his followers met to plan.

‘The next Big Count is not for another six moon rises. This warren could fall in soon. Really collapse. No one is repairing the walls properly any more, there are leaks in the right quadrant and the roof is getting soft. Our young ones are not being taught how to burrow safely and no-one is looking after the old rabbits. And meanwhile Tithy just plays games and writes speeches. Willie has to win the next Big Count,’ said Tani-Ash. She was a wise rabbit.

Willie stroked the ground with his foot, and smiled his usual calm smile.

‘Just remember that song, my friends. Run Tithy, run.’

(Image Credit: Animalzfun)

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396 thoughts on “The Warren Report

  1. Oh Good Grief!

    Thinktank Institute of Public Affairs up for prize for role in repealing carbon tax
    Organisation’s former policy director Tim Wilson – now Australia’s human rights commissioner – praised over efforts to counter ‘misinformation’ peddled by carbon tax advocates
    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/sep/03/thinktank-institute-of-public-affairs-up-for-prize-for-role-in-repealing-carbon-tax

    The Atlas Network – among their proud partners is the ‘Ayn Rand Institute’. Says it all, really. They should rename it to something catchier, more up-to-date. Something like ;Rightwing Nut Jobs ‘R Us’.
    https://www.atlasnetwork.org/

  2. We’ve just come back from a school sports event that grandson was competing in. We were able to watch while sitting in the car, the wind was very cold, and had news radio on.

    They played Toxic then followed up with Shorten. I have to say Shorten was excellent. Sympathy, said we need to take more refugees, etc. They actually played quite a bit of Shorten’s speech, but only the cold nasty short bit from Toxic. Pleasantly surprised.

  3. Had hot and cold running visitors/guests since last Friday, to celebrate Razz’ birthday, and I asked them all who this Kanye West was. No one knew. So we still don’t know.

  4. It dawned on me yesterday…I was “parked up” in the aisle with the shopping trolley ,while the OH. consulted the labels on which cooking oil had the best content of Omega 3.. and I was comparing the weight between packets of Betty Crocker’s ‘Triple Choc Muffin’ mix and her ‘Blueberry Delite’ muffin mix..(The Triple choc felt so much heavier to this old tradie)..and nearby, two comfortable looking old blokes with their heads together were discussing another bloke who had “just the right valve”..for some pump base for some device “at the club”…

    It became obvious they were both members of some hobby club..trains..old motors….pumps?..and they were discussing with crossed armed “enthusiasm “ this news. and it dawned on me that here were the “survivors” of our generation..Here were the plump looking remnants of those boomers who threw caution to the wind and care to the air and created havoc and revolution with every step and stagger…except..it wasn’t these particular two..or a multitude of other “hobby club” members..or Rotary, or Lions..or Probus or those other conservative service clubs…no ..it wasn’t THEY who “burned their livers and bras”…THEY were too busy cementing in their material securities to be on the front line fighting for the New Social Order..: Less “confrontation” , more “consolidation”..less “ striking for conditions”..more “ stroking for contrition”.

    Not for them the pike nor banner…no tears of frustration nor deep sympathy for the forsaken and weak..because, you see..that is how you become a survivor..: you conform..you yield..no risk unless it’s others risk..you don’t shout, you whimper…you don’t challenge. You join a “hobby club” and settle down to inane mumblings of complaint…THAT’S how you survive, until the most important thing in your life becomes that “tetchy little reed-valve” that the Bobs or Barrys or Bettys of the world have in their top drawer in their hobby cupboard.

    Now, I once sought to join a club..an old machine / engines club..I tried to join because the old Bedford was old enough to be classed “antique” and could therefore qualify for a reduced rego’ cost..I met the Secretary at their rooms and he showed me around..but the thing that struck me most interestingly was the fact that the members badges were kept on two separate boards..one for the women and another a little way away for the men…to avoid any scandal…and that level of pettiness about says it all.

    That’s how you become a “survivor”..that’s how you get the “last word “ on the subject, because all those “warriors” of the “new revolution “ are either burned out or already dead!

    I’ll leave it to Henry Lawson to finish off..
    The Men Who Come Behind
    There’s a class of men (and women) who are always on their guard—
    Cunning, treacherous, suspicious—feeling softly—grasping hard—
    Brainy, yet without the courage to forsake the beaten track—
    Cautiously they feel their way behind a bolder spirit’s back.
    If you save a bit of money, and you start a little store—
    Say, an oyster-shop, for instance, where there wasn’t one before—
    When the shop begins to pay you, and the rent is off your mind,
    You will see another started by a chap that comes behind.

    So it is, and so it might have been, my friend, with me and you—
    When a friend of both and neither interferes between the two;
    They will fight like fiends, forgetting in their passion mad and blind,
    That the row is mostly started by the folk who come behind.

    They will stick to you like sin will, while your money comes and goes,
    But they’ll leave you when you haven’t got a shilling in your clothes.
    You may get some help above you, but you’ll nearly always find
    That you cannot get assistance from the men who come behind.

    There are many, far too many, in the world of prose and rhyme,
    Always looking for another’s ‘footsteps on the sands of time.’
    Journalistic imitators are the meanest of mankind;
    And the grandest themes are hackneyed by the pens that come behind.

    If you strike a novel subject, write it up, and do not fail,
    They will rhyme and prose about it till your very own is stale,
    As they raved about the region that the wattle-boughs perfume
    Till the reader cursed the bushman and the stink of wattle-bloom.

    They will follow in your footsteps while you’re groping for the light ;
    But they’ll run to get before you when they see you’re going right;
    And they’ll trip you up and baulk you in their blind and greedy heat,
    Like a stupid pup that hasn’t learned to trail behind your feet.

    Take your loads of sin and sorrow on more energetic backs!
    Go and strike across the country where there are not any tracks!
    And—we fancy that the subject could be further treated here,
    But we’ll leave it to be hackneyed by the fellows in the rear.

  5. A country with a name like : “Iceland” would be the perfect place to open a business selling central heating.

  6. Two points:

    . what an absolute disgrace of a comment

    . it’s “empathy with” and “sympathy for”

    Barnaby Joyce has called for more Syrian refugees to be resettled in Australia, as horror grows at the scale of the migration emergency in Europe.

    The agriculture minister said he was affected by scenes of desperate asylum seekers fighting to board trains in Hungary and the image on Thursday of a drowned child washed ashore in a Turkish resort town.

    “You would be less than human if you didn’t … Who thinks watching a child drown is a good outcome?” he told the West Australian on Friday.

    “As an accountant myself, when you see an accountant walking across the border into Hungary from Syria when his life has been destroyed I feel a sense of empathy for him.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/sep/04/barnaby-joyce-calls-for-more-syrian-refugees-to-be-resettled-in-australia

  7. Mr Fixit is strangely MIA. In bed with a liddle cold?

    The Coalition has been warned by crossbench senators that it will be unable to legislate planned changes to Australia’s shipping laws, with a new report forecasting that the new laws would cause a 93% loss of Australian seafaring jobs.

    “There’s no way in hell this will get through,” said independent senator Jacquie Lambie.

    “The Liberal and National party has a very, very bad record on this – it does not consult. I’m sick of the born-to-rule mentality. Stop playing politics because this is about national security and we aren’t in a good space with where our shipping is headed. It’s in dire straits.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/sep/04/proposed-new-shipping-laws-threaten-loss-of-93-of-seafaring-jobs

  8. LeoneTwo,
    I noticed it was only the accountant Mr Joyce mentioned as having “empathy for”.

    Having a natter with a friend this morning, it was observed that a lot of the conservative side of politics quite often seem to be settling for material goods as something that makes them feel good about themselves, as if ‘having’ stuff makes them feel better than others. It may explain why I am constantly bemused by the lack of happy crows feet around the eyes in the photos of certain politician.

    The other thought that comes from that last statement of Mr Joyce, is that perhaps he can too easily see himself having to remove himself from New England? We can only hope!

  9. ABC News Sydney ‏@abcnewsSydney 16m16 minutes ago

    #BREAKING: Two bodies have washed up on a beach north of Newcastle.

    Anyone know anything about this?

  10. No one can accuse the Nats of being sane

    NSW Nationals senator John Williams wants federal water issues to be included under agriculture, and not the environment portfolio.

    Senator Williams is calling for responsibility of the water portfolio to be transferred, and has the backing of his state branch.

    The NSW Nationals will put up a motion calling for the switch at the party’s federal conference next weekend, and Senator Williams is confident it will be carried.

    “I think the two (water and agriculture) are so closely tied and relative that they should be under the one portfolio,” he told The Weekly Times.

    “I fear for too long we’ve had water seen as an environmental issue only.

    “It’s all well and good to run water through the Murray-Darling… but what about food production and all the communities that have suffered?”

    http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/politics/nsw-senator-wants-federal-water-issues-to-come-under-agriculture-portfolio/story-fnkerdda-1227512925144?from=trendinglinks

  11. I just saw this on Twitter:

    UberFacts ‏@UberFacts 3m3 minutes ago

    Research suggests that when someone disagrees with you, you should speak faster so they have less time to process what you’re saying.

    I think we’ve just found the explanation for Scott Morrison’s entire political career.

  12. With the announcement today that Andrew Southcott will not contest his seat of Boothby here in South Australia Senator Simon Birmingham who seems a little unhinged put out this press release.

    Friday, 04 September 2015
    Xenophon has questions to answer

    If Nick Xenophon’s political party is going to run candidates across multiple electorates at the next federal election, it’s time he started providing more details to South Australians.

    These are just some of the questions Nick Xenophon needs to answer about his political party.

    One: Who are the candidates? When will he reveal their names? When will he allow voters in
    South Australian electorates to start to scrutinise these candidates?

    Two: Will Nick Xenophon and his candidates support the formation of a Labor Government if they win Lower House seats?

    Three: Would Nick Xenophon and his candidates vote together as a bloc in the Parliament, if
    elected, or are they all effectively different independents?

    Four: How will Nick Xenophon ensure candidates in his political party don’t end up going the
    same way – splitting and dividing – as Clive Palmer’s MPs like Jacquie Lambie have from the Palmer political party?

    Five: Would Nick Xenophon and the candidates from his political party support Labor’s plans to reintroduce a carbon tax that would cost the economy $600 billion?

    Six: Would Nick Xenophon and the candidates from his political party support Labor’s plans for a 50% renewable energy target that would drive up electricity prices for all Australians?

    Seven: Would Nick Xenophon and the candidates from his political party vote to maintain all of
    the policies that have stopped the illegal flow of boats to Australia?

    Eight: Would Nick Xenophon and the candidates from his political party vote to support
    Labor’s plans for increased taxes on savings and superannuation?

    Nine: Would Nick Xenophon and the candidates from his political party guarantee not to support new taxes or tax rises?

    Ten: How would Nick Xenophon and his political party protect Australian workers from the
    economic damage caused by union thuggery and militancy?

    If Nick Xenophon is going to run candidates like any other political party and hopes to win seats like any other political party then he needs to start answering questions about his plans and policies, just like any other political party. Just being a commentator on everybody else won’t cut it anymore

  13. Hey, Jason..not that i am a supporter of the media hog ; Nick Zee’ , But I’d back his odds , even at 3/1 On against sfb. Birmingham any day!

    LNP. toast in SA.

  14. Aguirre

    It is amusing to hear Scrott speed “speaking in tongues” and the gasps he makes as he desperately sucks in more air to keep the wpm up. The Maori called the early Dalmatian settlers in NZ Tarara – Fast Talkers on account of how fast their language sounded to those who did not speak it. Could be apt for Scrott.

    As a note the Maori and Dalmatians got on very well and many intermarriages means a close association to this day. The ‘Dallies’ were pioneers in the wine industry .

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Tony Windsor in The Saturday Paper writes on Abbott’s war on governance.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2015/09/05/abbotts-war-governance/14413752002324
    And Mike Seccombe explains Abbott’s war on “lawfare” and the China FTA.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2015/09/05/abbotts-rules-distraction-lawfare-and-chafta/14413752002342
    Michael Gordon gives Abbott an unflattering two year report card. (and it won’t be long before Menzies House gears up to skew the poll as the end of the article).
    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/two-years-on-its-all-about-tony-20150904-gjf5xe.html
    Lenore Taylor’s report card is no better!
    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/sep/04/tony-abbotts-first-two-years-despite-the-daily-battles-hes-losing-the-war
    Jess Irvine gives us a view of the tough economic times ahead.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/tough-times-ahead-as-economic-confidence-takes-a-dive-but-no-ones-using-the-r-word-yet-20150904-gjf44n.html
    Fancy having the name “Peter Dutton”!
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/us-man-mistaken-for-australian-immigration-minister-peter-dutton-on-twitter-20150904-gjfnay.html
    Inside Border Force’s power – the militarisation of Immigration. A long and informative article.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/immigration/2015/09/05/inside-border-forces-power/14413752002322
    Paul Bongiorno outlines more cracks in the Abbott Cabinet.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2015/09/05/more-cracks-abbotts-cabinet/14413752002339
    Bob Ellis with the Canning Countdown.
    http://www.ellistabletalk.com/2015/09/04/the-canning-countdown-5-the-nutter-factor/
    Things are warming up with the various public service wage offer voting processes.
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/dhs-electronic-poll-website-crashes-as-public-servants-rush-to-vote-on-wage-offer-20150904-gjexix.html

  16. Section 2 . . .

    Now asbestos pokes its head up in Nauru.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/asbestos-immigration-department-contractors-knew-of-nauru-risk-emails-show-20150903-gje3z1.html
    Michael Gordon tells us about a Liberal backbench plea to Abbott to take in more Syrian refugees.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/can-we-please-do-more-liberal-mps-impassioned-plea-on-refugees-20150904-gjffqw.html
    More from Michael Gordon on the subject. A good swipe at Abbott here.
    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/no-tony-abbott-we-dont-have-the-answer-on-refugees-20150904-gjfjqc.html
    The parliamentary committee has given bipartisan support to immigration legislation but with significant changes. Now it’s over to Dutton and Abbott.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/laws-to-strip-citizenship-from-terrorists-set-to-pass-but-with-significant-changes-20150904-gjfhul.html
    Mark Kenny reckons Abbott’s boat policy has been misrepresented.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbotts-boats-policy-was-misunderstood-and-misrepresented-by-the-new-york-times-20150904-gjf3wv.html
    Jason Wilson schools Abbott on the Nazis.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/04/the-nazis-ashamed-abbotts-third-reich-comparisons-are-not-gaffes
    Michelle Grattan says Abbott is on the nose in Canning but the Libs do have their nose in front.
    https://theconversation.com/abbott-on-the-nose-in-canning-but-liberals-a-nose-in-front-47106
    Bombing Syria smells like a khaki election.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/bombing-syria-smells-like-a-khaki-election-mr-abbott,8128
    Here’s this week’s political quiz, I got 8/10
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/federal-politics-quiz-the-week-ending-september-4-20150904-gjf2of.html
    This “midnight ambush” of the NDIS board is just so typical of this government.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/midnight-ambush-ndis-board-members-discover-they-are-being-dumped-via-ad-20150904-gjeyh2.html

  17. Section 3 . . .

    More is exposed about the ethos of Geelong Grammar as the CA Royal Commission continues.
    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/sep/04/former-geelong-grammar-teacher-feared-cost-of-whistle-blowing-on-abuse
    Peter Hartcher writes about the latest crop of books written by federal MPs.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-latest-crop-of-political-books-shows-not-all-politicians-think-in-soundbytes-20150904-gjfb6r.html
    Wendy Harmer on how one group is planning to unseat the absent Member for Warringah.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/wendy-harmer-pow-plans-to-oust-warringahs-absentee-mp-tony-abbott-20150903-gjecnp.html
    Ross Gittins – the economy is neither wonderful nor woeful.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/economy-is-neither-wonderful-nor-woeful-20150904-gjezib.html
    This SMH editorial defends the paper’s editorial policy.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/our-political-promise-to-you-sworn-to-no-master-of-no-sect-am-i-20150902-gjdy9f.html
    Heath Aston on how the divided cabinet has punted the costly Harper review into competition policy.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/sidelined-harper-competition-law-review-cost-3m-in-pay-and-travel-for-authors-20150904-gjfb9b.html
    And here’s why it has been punted – big business put on the squeeze.
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/2015/09/04/government-caves-big-business-threatens-war/
    The political week that was.
    http://theaimn.com/my-thoughts-on-the-week-that-was-19/

  18. Section 4 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir and Dutton’s media beat-up.

    Ron Tandberg’s always good or a bit of perspective.

    Oh dear! David Pope serves it right up to Abbott.

    A more poignant contribution on the subject from Mark Knight.

    Simon Letch’s version of the “pub test”.

    John Spooner has latched on to Abbott’s Nazi vs IS remarks.

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