[Bottle Collector’s Note: Now you know where that delightful old figure of speech, “caught between the hydra and the jackalope,” comes from.]
Thanks to the machinations of the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney, there is a Jackalope loose in Scurveyshire. We read about that in Chapter CDL of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney.
Introducing Chapter CDLI, Ms. Crepuscular writes, “I have had it up to here with readers thinking they can write my book for me! I mean, why don’t I just put up a suggestion box next to my mailbox? Some horrible woman from Tobolsk, Kansas, wrote me to say I ought to put more Vikings in my book! Am I the Queen of Suspense or am I not! I know perfectly well what I’m doing!”
So the jackalope is hopping around the vicar’s kitchen garden while he and Lord Jeremy, Lady Margo, and a cowboy sit in the parlor chewing tobacco; and nobody sees the backyard wading pool give, as it were, a great thumping belch… and unleash a hydra on the vicar’s petunias. This they kind of have to notice: it’s a rather difficult animal to ignore.
“Hsiang ya ts’ai!” cries Lady Margo, lapsing into Chinese. (Don’t ask!) The cowboy faints. The vicar lapses into conniptions. Lord Jeremy is left holding the bag.
“And now,” funambulates Ms. Crepuscular, “I will demonstrate why they call me the Queen of Suspense! Is Lord Jeremy up to dealing with this crisis? Will the hydra devour all the people? Why does Lady Margo suddenly speak another language?
“Stay tuned for the next chapter! You won’t find out till then!” One can imagine her slyly winking. “That’s how you keep ’em reading!” she gloats.