“Sludge, are ya coming?” Jim threw his school bag towards the front verandah and into his mother’s rose bushes. “Sludge,” he yelled as he raced past the shed, “ya coming?”

Jim’s brother emerged from the chook yard and fell in behind him.

 “Where we going Jim?”

“Out past the back paddock to check me rabbit trap.” It was his father’s new ‘friendly’ rabbit trap but Jim wasn’t one to dwell on the finer points of ownership.

“What if there’s a rabbit in it?”

“Then I’ll get it out, stupid.” He rolled his eyes skyward, a gesture lost on his brother who was two years younger and still hadn’t managed to catch up.

“How ya gunna get it out without it getting away?”

“Jeez Sludge, I’m just gunna reach in and pull it out.” Jim slowed slightly to squeeze between the fence wires at the front paddock and almost let Sludge catch up before racing off again.

“How ya gunna pull it out without it kickin ya?”

“I’ll just grab it by its back feet and yank it straight up in the air. It can’t kick ya when ya got its back feet.”

“What if it’s facing the trap door Jim? It might scratch ya. It might come flying out when ya open the door, and jump up at yer face and scratch yer eye out.”

“It’s not gunna scratch me eye out. I am Jim ... the Invincible!”

“What if it bites ya Jim? What if it sinks its teeth right through yer finger from one side to the other?”

“Jim the Invincible has fingers of steel.”

“What if it’s got myxo and ya get poxy germs all over ya, and ya get sick and ya die in hospital of rabbit disease?”

“Jim the Invincible is immune to germs.”

“Hey Jim, what ya gunna do with it?”

“I’m gunna whack it with a lump of wood and see if it screams.”

Sludge felt his sweat turn frigid. “I’m pretty sure rabbits don’t make noise Jim so there’s no point whacking it.”

“Then I’m gunna swing it against a tree and see if it gets knocked out.”

Sludge slowed his pace for a second. “What’s the point of catching it if yer just gunna kill it Jim?”

“I’m not gunna kill it, I just wanna have some fun. Maybe I’ll poke one of its eyes out.”

“If Dad finds out you’ll be in big trouble.”

“Jim the Invincible laughs at trouble.”

“Yer not supposed to torture animals, Jim.”

“Maybe I’ll pull its claws out.”

Sludge could feel his heart pounding against the wall of his chest. “It could tear yer hands to pieces with its claws Jim.”

“Jim the Invincible is not afraid of rabbit claaaaarrrrrgh!” Jim crashed to the ground, his foot wedged in a rabbit hole.  His scream was more animal than human.

Sludge tasted vomit in his mouth. “There’s bone sticking out of yer leg Jim!”

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