The fields to the northwest of the county of Raspberry Haven, protectorate of the hares of the Wide Patrol.
The fearless hares of Captain Burdock Rabscuttle’s Wide Patrol received word that neighboring counties were violating the sovereignty of Raspberry Haven. Burdock took a small detachment of his best hares and met with Mellivor Braw, the badger that lived under the oak tree in the northwest corner of the county. Mellivor led them to a hill where he had found strange animal tracks in large numbers, and soon a raiding party of foxes was discovered lurking near a wooded area to the north.
Burdock led his hares out from behind the hill and across the field to take up a position to observe the intruding foxes. Mellivor Braw was not quick enough, and the foxes spotted the Wide Patrol as they entered the woods. Dand-O Flatfoot exchanged a couple of arrow shots with the archers under the fox champion’s command, but it quickly became apparent that the enemy was too expert at using cover to hit from afar.
Seeing that they would be shot to pieces if they remained where they were, Burdock declared a charge! The hares bounded across the field engaged the enemy forces in fierce hand to hand combat. The enemy had an assassin in their ranks, who took advantage of Mellivor Braw stumbling and struck the poor fellow when he was down. Bounder was gravely injured, leaving Burdock and Dand-O to fight on alone. The archers of the enemy backed away to attempt a clear shot, but Burdock lept across the distance and engaged them both. Dand-O held his own, fighting bravely.
The enemy’s morale was broken, and they were either struck down or fled the field. The hares cared for their wounded, then sang campfire songs while they ate sandwiches and drank buttercup mead.
But the day was not over for the valiant Wide Patrol! As they sang a merry marching song and made their way back toward the hill, a large combat force of mice were spotted coming from the north. Perhaps they had been pursuing the foxes, and were friendly? Burdock didn’t like the look of them, nor did he like the menacing sound of their beating war drums.
Burdock led his hares around the east side of the hill, Mellivor Braw the badger following behind. Keeping the hill between themselves and small horde of mice warriors as long as they could, they then dashed across the open field, making for the wooded area to the north.
As they bounded across the field they saw that they had been spotted. A mole combat engineer disappeared into the ground, followed by a detachment of mice warriors. The mice also had an assassin, as well as a leader skillfully directing a group of mice slingers toward the hares. The fearless hares would take cover from their missiles within the trees, and draw them into hand-to-hand combat, an activity the soldiers of the Wide Patrol excel at.
The Wide Patrol formed a skirmish line and braced for a charge from the mice. The mole engineer surfaced near Mellivor Braw, and the badger found himself swamped with angry mice, murder written in their twitching whiskers. Burdock and Bounder charged in, while Dand-O was caught off guard, having to dodge his way through a rain of slung bullets. Dand-O opted to join the brawl instead of trading shots with the mouse slingers. The mouse assassin chased him into the fray.
It was a hard fought battle. Amongst the trees and the broken ground, it was hard for any of the animals to keep their feet. Bounder and Mellivor Braw were both struck down, grievously wounded, though Burdock and Bounder fought on. They were knocked down many times by the swarming mice, yet the two fearless warriors kept up the attack. When Bounder was cruelly slashed while he lay helpless on the ground, Burdock became enraged, charging into the mob of mice and striking a mighty blow.
The shock of the gruesome death caused the mice to break and run. In the ensuing panic and confusion several mice were killed, further deepening the despair of the mouse invaders. When their leader himself abandoned the field the panicked retreat of the mice turned into a complete, brutal route. The courageous hares of the Wide Patrol had proved victorious twice!
Raspberry Haven was safe, the borders secure and the message to the other animals quite clear: this land is ours.