Tonight it would be different.
Tonight they were to help move the local rabbit farm from its present location down by the rice paddies up to Ding Wood. It had to move because more space was needed, too many rabbits with not enough to feed off.
After giving the children a quick snack Mai Ling barked, "It's all hands to the pump now." And out they all went.
Chi Wing was already waiting, clip board in hand counting as the special cardboard animal baskets were loaded by Wai Ping while Wah Ming attached the long trailer to the van. Granma T and was already at the wheel and ready to go.
Soon everyone was aboard and jerkily Granma T eased the vehicle out of the yard and off to the farm.
There everything was in chaos: Mr and Mrs Whi Abit's personal effects had still to be crated; the rabbits had not yet been locked in their hutches and were still running round in their paddock as normal; none of the helpers at the rabbit farm could be seen; some newly ordered hutches were in differing states of readiness; the family were overwhelmed by their predicament and were duly embarrassed.
Granma T explained as firmly as she could that the move had to take place tonight as it would be another two months before all the team would be on hand to move all the animals safely. Besides there was almost five hours of good light still left.
Over a soothing cup of tea, excuses were made, the sorry tale of arguments and disagreements had been listened to. It was agreed that the move would begin. The animals would be soon rehoused in their new paddocks, the hutches could be repositioned and the family if need be could stay with Granma T. So a plan of action was quickly hatched and agreed upon:
the men would stack the all hutches made up or not, onto the trailer; the women would pack the crates and haul them to the van; the children would "quietly catch the animals, carrying them properly, before placing them carefully - ever so carefully into the special cardboard containers." The instructions on how not to frighten the animals had been emphatically explained. The children had to repeat the commands word for word to Mai Ling who was to supervise them.
Within an hour and half everything had been completed. All were safely loaded even the three large Angoras had at the very last quietly sumbmitted to being handled and were ready for the off....
In the meantime, complete the silhouettes of some of the rabbits that have been successfully and carefully caught. Further activities can be found in the notes .
The World of Tan continues in World of Tan 13 - A Storm in a Tea Cup .