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John's New Pet

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“Here, take it,” Sherlock said, pushing a furry bundle into John’s arms.

“What?  What is it?  Why?” John spluttered.

“It’s a rabbit.  Your new pet.  And don’t worry, it’s entirely house trained.  Got to go!”  And with that, Sherlock rushed out again.

Having satisfied himself the door was safely closed, John put the rabbit on the floor.  It lay there for a moment, before lolloping over to the sofa, hopping up and settling itself down.  John glared at it and put a hand out to move it back onto the floor, but the rabbit showed its teeth and he decided it would be a shame to disturb it.

He went to make himself a cup of tea and, as he was walking back to his armchair, his phone rang.

“Hi, Molly,” he said.

“How are you?” Molly replied.

“Fine, but apparently I’m rabbit sitting.”

“Aw!  Send me a picture.”

“You want a selfie?”

“No, I don’t want a picture of you, just the rabbit.  You haven’t seen Greg, have you?  He was supposed to be coming to the morgue, but he hasn’t turned up.”

“No, I haven’t.  But if I do see him, I’ll tell him you’re waiting for him.”

Having finished talking to Molly, John realised the television remote was on the sofa.  He walked over.  “Now, bunny, are you going to let me reach the remote?” he asked.

The rabbit moved round so that it was facing the television.

“So you want to watch too, do you?” John said, with a self-conscious laugh.  “I’m not sure what will be suitable for a bunny brain.”  He switched the television on.  “Midsomer Murders suit you?”  Unsurprisingly the rabbit didn’t answer, but at least it wasn’t providing the running commentary Sherlock insisted on, so John felt the rabbit was probably a better companion in that respect.

It wasn’t long before John’s phone rang again.

“Hi, Sally,” he said.  “What can I do for you?”

“You haven’t seen Lestrade have you?  He seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.”

“No, Molly’s just rung me with the same question.”

“I’m getting quite worried.  Let me know if you hear anything.”

“Of course I will.  And don’t worry, wasn’t he doing something with Sherlock?”

“That’s why I am worrying.”

“Fair comment.  I saw Sherlock not long ago.  He gave me a rabbit.”

“He what?  No, don’t bother explaining.  I have more to think about than why Sherlock should want a rabbit.  Or why you do.  You don’t, do you?”

“No, I don’t.  But in the meantime, I seem to be rabbit sitting.”

“Have fun!  And keep in touch.”

John wondered whether to contact Sherlock to ask him if he knew where Greg was, but thought Sally Donovan would have done that already.  It was however possible Sherlock would ignore her, so he sent a quick text: <Do you know where Greg is?>

The reply was almost instant.  <Do you still have the rabbit?>

John rolled his eyes but replied <Yes!>

<Then I know where Lestrade is>

Feeling none the wiser, John returned to watching the television.

Half an hour later there was a knock on the door and Mycroft Holmes entered, accompanied by a thin man in horn-rimmed spectacles.

“He’s not here,” John said.  “It’s just me and the rabbit.”

“It’s the rabbit we’ve come to see,” Mycroft replied.

John moved to sit on the sofa in front of the rabbit.  “It’s my rabbit.  Sherlock gave it to me.”

“Actually, the rabbit is Detective Inspector Gregory Lestrade.  And we advise you to co-operate.”

***

John woke up with a crick in his neck.  He groaned.  He hadn’t meant to fall asleep on the sofa, but it had been a busy couple of days.  He remembered dreaming about a rabbit, which just proved how shattered he had been.

He thought no more about it until the following day, when Mrs Hudson said, “Sherlock Holmes, why are there rabbit droppings on your sofa?”