It All Had To Start Somewhere
Usual disclaimers apply: I don’t own ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ and am only borrowing them for fun, not profit.
Carter stood outside Barracks Two, looking down at a charred wooden box. I’m glad the mission worked out ok, but I really wanted to catch a rabbit. He crouched down, not looking up as the others gathered around, drawn by his glum look.
Colonel Hogan moved in behind Carter, glancing down at the sergeant. “Carter, how about repairing your rabbit trap? We’ll all help.” He smiled gently; remembering Carter’s rather enthusiastic demonstration of how the trap was supposed to work. Of course, that had been before it had become the centerpiece of his latest plan to lend confusion to the enemy.
“Aww, its no use, Colonel. It’s ruined.” Carter crouched down beside the trap, looking over the tangled mess of wires strung all over the box. A slight movement caught his eye, and he took a closer look. “Hey… “ Breaking into a grin, he reached inside. “Hey, the trap worked! I got myself a rabbit!”
LeBeau smiled, and helped Carter open the trap. Taking a grip on the rabbit crouched in the box; Carter lifted it out for everyone to see. “How ‘bout that? We’re going to have that hasenpfeffer after all! We’ve got everything we need!”
Hogan watched, a smile coming onto his face as Carter turned the brown and white rabbit to face him. “That’s what you’re going to be, hasenpfeffer.” The rabbit looked at Carter with its soft brown eyes, its ears and whiskers seeming to droop a bit, almost as if it understood what was being said.
Carter frowned and held the rabbit out a bit as he turned to Hogan. “Why is he looking at me like that?”
Newkirk shook his head, trading a glance and a slight grin with LeBeau and Kinchloe as they watched the goings-on. It was easy to see where this was going, even before Colonel Hogan leaned over to take a look at the rabbit himself.
“Well, Carter, how would you feel if somebody just told you YOU were going to be hasenpfeffer?” Hogan glanced at Carter from the corner of his eye as the young sergeant thought it over.
“Okay.” Carter crouched down, giving the rabbit a quick pat as he released it. “Go home!” To everyone’s amazement, the rabbit hopped right back into the trap.
“Looks like he found a home with us.” Newkirk shrugged a bit and traded grins with LeBeau as Carter stood back up.
“Let’s keep it as a pet. One rabbit won’t be too much trouble, will it Colonel?” The look Carter gave Hogan was full of hope, and for a moment Hogan knew exactly how his father felt the time he’d unexpectedly brought a puppy home and asked ‘Can I keep him?’
The moment passed. After all, this was a rabbit, not a dog, and rabbits…
“Carter my boy”, Hogan said as he settled his arm around the sergeant’s shoulder. “I must tell you the truth.” An amused, almost cheeky grin broke out on the colonel’s face as he continued. “There is no such thing as one rabbit.”
The other guys couldn’t help breaking into laughter as they went into the barracks. Hogan gave Carter’s shoulder a squeeze before following suit.
Carter stood there, looking down at the brown and white bundle of fur that was happily making itself at home in the burned-out shell of the ‘gonculator’. After a few minutes, he smiled and reached down to give the rabbit a rub on the head. Well, the Colonel didn’t say ‘no’, did he?
Carter grinned, and absently brushed a few stray hairs off the cuff of his bomber jacket before going into the barracks, leaving everyone to wonder just exactly what did happen to that very first plot bunny.
From The ‘Credit Where Credit Is Due, The Blame Goes Elsewhere’ Department; Many thanks to LJ Groundwater for her patience in supplying me with a transcript of the last few minutes of the fourth season episode “Klink v The Gonculator” written by Phil Sharp.
Please don’t blame either of them for what I did with it afterwards!