Stray Hares
Nancy Ware

Papa Bear Awards 20052005 Papa Bear Awards - Nominated
Best Comedy

Papa Bear Awards 20052005 Papa Bear Awards - Nominated
Best Challenge - Plot Bunny Challenge

Usual disclaimers apply:  I don’t own ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ and am only borrowing them for fun, not profit.



Major Hochstetter sat in his office, chair turned to face the large map of the Hammelburg area tacked to the wall behind his desk.  The map’s surface was covered with pins representing local landmarks; green ones for things of general interest, black ones for strictly military matters.  Points of red were thickly scattered among the green and black, making the map seem to bleed from numerous wounds.


The Gestapo major stared at the map without seeing it.  He didn’t need to, as he was all too familiar with what it showed.  The red pins marked those places where the Underground had successfully destroyed bridges, trains, factories and other items important to the German war effort.


A knock brought Hochstetter out of his reverie.  “Enter.” He looked at the door as a clerk stepped in and saluted.


“The area reports for the last month as ordered, sir!”  The clerk, an eager Hitler Youth cadet, waited until the major nodded before placing the files on the desk.  Hochstetter grabbed the top folder, already beginning to study its contents as he waved the clerk away, hardly noticing as the boy closed the office door on his way out.


Absorbed in his reading, Hochstetter absently brushed a small white hair off the top page of a report dealing with what appeared to have been an attempt to sabotage the train tracks a few miles out of Hammelburg.  Frowning as he turned the page, he saw that a significant amount of explosives had been placed, wired, and then abandoned.


Writing the details of the incident into his notebook, he continued going through the reports until his pen ran out of ink.  As he searched through his desk drawer for a replacement, his attention was caught by the collection of short white hairs that clung to the normally immaculate black sleeve of his uniform jacket.  What is this?  Brushing the hairs off in disgust, he picked up the next folder, expecting to read about the new ball bearing plant under construction.  To his dismay, yet another of the white hairs lay on the page.


Furious, the Gestapo major pitched the report to the floor and grabbed the next one, which was about the Underground’s successful destruction of a fuel convoy.  Good.  No damned white hair in this one!  His satisfaction was short-lived as several hairs drifted out of the very next folder.


Hochstetter made quick work of the remaining files, angrily brushing aside several more hairs before getting to the bottom of the stack.  Pushing himself away from the desk, he grabbed his notebook and flipped through the pages as he paced across the office floor.  Interesting.  Only the folders detailing failed sabotage efforts and those with incidents left without satisfactory explanations have the white hairs.  Completed reports are not plagued with them.


A turn in his pacing brought him face-to-face with the map once again as an idea came to mind.  A quick search of the desk turned up a packet of white thumbtacks, ironically appropriate for the task at hand.  Consulting the notebook, Hochstetter stuck the white tacks into the map at all of the places where the reports had contained hairs.  A step back to study the result brought a snarl to the Major’s face.


“I knew it!  Look at that, not only does nearly all of the Underground activity center on it, so do the locations of all these files!”  Hochstetter snatched his overcoat and hat from their rack, pulling them on as he stalked out of his office, yelling for his car to be brought around.  Charging down the steps of Gestapo headquarters without really looking, he nearly tripped as his foot struck something soft, and a long-eared flash of white scampered out of sight around the corner of the building.


Hochstetter was barely in the car before he yelled directions to the driver.  As they went through town, the Major saw several more quick-moving streaks of white racing for cover.  He paid careful attention, noting that a fairly large number of them seemed to gather near the Hoffbrau.


The drive seemed, to the impatient Major, to take forever.  Since the road took him through a few of the sites now marked with white pins on his office map, he kept a careful watch that was rewarded with the now expected flash of white as the long black car sped along.  The sightings rapidly increased the closer he got to his destination, to the point that by the time the car made the final turn, he was not at all surprised to see that it was quite literally full of small…  white… bunnies.


Hochstetter broke out into laughter, sending chills down the driver’s spine.  After telling the driver to stop, the Major got out of the car and stood with a set of field glasses trained on the compound of Luft Stalag 13.  He couldn’t take his eyes off the sight of dozens of white bunnies clustered around Barracks 2 and the Kommandant’s office.  “I’ve got you now, Hogan!  I can’t wait to see you try to explain all of THIS away!”  Still laughing, he slammed his fist onto the hood of the car…



A sharp pain in his hand caused Major Hochstetter to jump a bit as he slowly came to his senses.   A quick look around showed that he was in his office, seated behind his desk where there was a rather large stack of file folders.  He checked the map, but only the green, black and red pins were there.  His sudden yawn caught him off guard for a moment, then he shook his head in dismay.


It was a dream.  All these long hours have finally caught up with you, Wolfgang.  Finish these reports, and see about a weekend in Paris, some time off will do you good.


Switching on the desk lamp and turning his attention to the stack of reports, Major Hochstetter completely failed to notice the small white bunny crouched in the corner by the filing cabinet.  It flicked an ear towards the Gestapo officer, then wriggled its whiskers in amusement before it faded from sight.



Author’s Note:  My response to the Smartgroups ‘Plot Bunny Challenge’, as well as being my first published work of fan fiction.

Text and original characters copyright 2004 by Nancy Ware

This copyright covers only  original material and characters, and in no way intends to infringe upon the privileges of the holders of the copyrights, trademarks, or other legal rights, for the Hogan's Heroes universe.