Chapter 9 - Lepus!
"Bilbies!" sneered Lepus. "Small ones! How dare you disturb my burrow?"
He drew himself up on his haunches, towering over the two young bilbies. His hot breath scorched their cheeks and his smell choked the air.
Bindee forced herself to stand as tall as she possibly could while the rabbit soldiers formed a circle around them.
"We have come for the egg recipe," declared Binni. "The one you stole from us. We need it to make more eggs for the children."
Lepus gave a roar that was so ferocious even his soldiers drew back in fright. He thrust his face close to Binni's. "It's mine!" he growled through barred, yellow teeth.
Lepus waved a paw and a rabbit solider came forward and placed a small object on the ground before him.
Binni gave a squeal of excitement when he saw the little bundle of twigs, leaves, and seeds, so carefully blended together with dried earth. It was Grandma BeeBee's egg recipe!
"Beautiful, isn't it?" smirked Lepus. "Just think how I can use it to fool the children!"
"No!" cried Binni, "I won't let you!"
Lepus snarled fiercely and raised a massive paw. A terrible howl of fear echoed around the chamber. For a second, Binni thought it was coming from him. Then suddenly there was screaming everywhere and the rabbit soldiers began to run about madly.
"Snake! Snake! ..."
Out of my way! ..."
"Snake! Snake! ..."
And there she was, the most beautiful creature Binni had ever seen, slithering across the cavern towards them.
"Hello, Pretty Ones," hissed Zeela, snapping at the heels of a fleeing rabbit. "I think it is time to go now."
"Not so fast!" roared Lepus. And with a mighty swipe he knocked Binni to the ground and sent Bindee flying across the room.
"Run, Bindee, run!" shouted Binni, hopping painfully to his feet.
Lepus gave another swipe and Binni felt his stomach go squish as he landed on something round and lumpy.
"Get away, get away from it!" screamed Lepus.
Binni had landed on the egg recipe! Quickly, he tucked the precious bundle into his pouch and turned to face Lepus. If he was ever to escape it must be now.
So when the giant paw came flying towards him once more Binni gave a huge leap. He landed to one side of Lepus and scrambled to his feet. Ahead of him was daylight and a clear path!
With a cry of joy, Binni bounded to the burrow entrance. Bindee's head appeared at the opening, with Zeela peering down beside her.
"Quickly, Binni!" cried Bindee. Grabbing Zeela's tail, she reached down to haul him to safety.
Binni scrambled through the hole to freedom, just as Lepus's great jaws snapped behind him.