Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew: Easter Gifts, Easter Troubles, Prologue: The Gift

by Andrew Troy Keller and Comickook

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The White House, Waspington, D.C.:

Captain Carrot and his amazing Zoo Crew had spent the morning and early afternoon helping out with the annual Easter egg hunt at the White House. The whole thing had gone off without a hitch, and all the kids, chicks, cubs, and hatchlings gathered had been excited to meet their heroes. Now that it was over, all that was left was the cleanup, which the Captain and Alley-Kat-Abra had volunteered to do. The couple was using their powers to assist them in cleaning up the grounds this late afternoon.

Suddenly, a column of softly glowing light burst through the clouds above and struck the White House lawn. Captain Carrot and Alley-Kat-Abra were astonished by the sight as the column of light remained in place with great power, yet doing no harm to the lawn. Then a strange, bunny-like creature stepped out of the light.

The long-eared, blue-furred bunny was a few feet taller than the Captain, with large eyes and a small mouth, from which protruded two front teeth. The being was simply dressed, wearing only a silvery, metallic, one-piece outfit that reflected a blue sheen in the sunlight.

Captain Carrot tensed and frowned at the sight of the creature, which reminded him of the Goat-Guardians of the Universe from the Green Lambkin comics, as well as a being the team had met and fought one previous Easter a few years ago — the Bunny from Beyond. (*) “Keep back, Abra!” he cautioned Felina. “We can’t know this alien rabbit’s intentions!”

[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Bunny from Beyond,” Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #6 (August, 1982).]

“Oh, please,” said Felina Furr. “No need to be so protective. I am a powerful magician, after all.”

The being slowly approached the two Zoo Crewers, but its intentions seemed peaceful. Still, Rodney Rabbit could be forgiven for preparing to spring into action when the being reached into a pocket to take something out. It was a small device, which he slowly offered to Captain Carrot with one open hand. Rodney felt equally tense and astonished as he reached forward and took the miniature device, which had a screen on it and looked somewhat like a small television.

“I am the Cosmic Watch-Hare from the Glandromeda Galaxy, Captain Carrot,” said the visitor with a deep, harmonic voice. “And I have come to give you this gift as our very own version of an Easter present. May it help you double your heroic efforts on this world.”

After a short pause, a surprised Captain Carrot looked at the visitor and said, “Th-thank you, sir. I’ll treasure it always.”

As soon as his mission was completed, the visitor disappeared into the glowing vortex, which itself vanished moments later, leaving only a slight breeze in its wake. Captain Carrot looked at the device in his hand, and slowly a smile appeared on his face.

“What is it?” Alley-Kat-Abra asked, looking at him. “Are you OK, Rodney?”

“Yes, Felina,” answered a misty-eyed Rodney Rabbit. “It’s just that I’ve been given a very special Easter present.”

As Felina looked at the device, she was shocked to discover that it was a beautiful three-dimensional holographical portrait of the team. They looked at each other in wonder at what it all meant.


The Z-Building, Follywood, Califurnia:

“We’re gonna celebrate Easter with style,” Pig-Iron said as he, Terry Dactyl, Chester Cheese, and Timmy-Joe Terrapin all put the finishing touches on the Easter dinner party decorations. Timmy-Joe’s main job was keeping Pig-Iron busy enough with the heavy lifting that the others could get the soda and snacks set up carefully without having to deal with his voracious eating habits.

“I know,” Chester said. “I mean, this is going to be an Easter dinner to remember. Might as well take advantage of spring break while you can, right?” He was thinking about how hectic things were in college, especially since he was juggling a super-heroic career as well as college athletics and his studies. But everyone had noticed how much happier he had been since he had reunited with his long-lost mother over the Christmas break. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See The Bred and the Bald: Rubberduck and Little Cheese: Being With One’s Family.]

“Just be glad there hasn’t been much super-crime to speak of for a couple of weeks, Ches,” said Terry. “I mean, the first month I’ve been with you guys has been incredibly hectic. I know it comes with the job, so I’m not complaining, but still, a little downtime is nice every once in a while.”

“Shucks. I have ta agree with that,” said Timmy-Joe. “I reckon dis month, without anybody needin’ ol’ Fastback’s help, has helped me hold down a job fer longer than a week.” He referred to his most recent employment, this time as a country-club caddy, which he’d managed to hold down for a month now.

“So, who’s coming over for this shindig, guys?” Terry asked.

“We invited a whole lotta people who were interested in comin’,” said Pig-Iron. “Mostly the people in the neighborhood. O’ course, Byrd and Rova just happened to have somethin’ else goin’ on tonight. Figures they’d be too snobby to attend the team’s dinner when they get invited to some swanky Easter charity ball!”


Byrd Rentals’ mansion in Bel-Airedale:

Rova Barkitt, wearing a very stylish black gown, stood with her arms crossed as she waited for Byrd Rentals to finish getting dressed for the party they were both attending in an hour. Her own apartment had been flooded by a burst pipe earlier that day, and she’d just managed to rescue a steamer trunk full of clothes before Wolfie arrived. She hoped the old plumber pal of Pig-Iron wouldn’t be tempted to look through her drawers while she was gone.

“Byrd, dah-ling, could you please hurry up and get dressed?” she said impatiently. “Mr. Retriever has finally consented to give me an interview tonight during his Easter charity ball, and I don’t want to be late for the party.”

Wearing a tuxedo, Byrd was trying to get his tie straight but was having great difficulty. “Hey, don’t blame me — blame this blasted tie,” he grumbled. “I want to get going, too. It wouldn’t do for either one of us to keep our dates waiting. The trouble is, this tie picks tonight to be stubborn.”

“I know,” said Rova, rolling her eyes. “I still can’t believe you finally managed to get Samantha Drake to agree to go out with you. (*) But I suppose that, after you’ve bombarded that crooning crone with two hundred phone calls, a thousand flower bouquets, and a thousand candy boxes since her release from prison just two months ago, she finally caved in.”

Samantha Drake, the former super-villainess known as the Siren Belle, had been in prison since she first fought the Zoo Crew a few years ago. (*) But after she’d provided assistance to the team in fighting the Nasty Menagerie, the Zoo Crew’s evil doubles from the dark mirror universe of Earth-Reverse-C, she had received a reduction on her sentence and was released on parole not long after. (*) Ever since then, she had been busy setting herself up as a private detective, using her powers to help solve cases of various kinds.

[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew: Times Past: Song of the Siren Belle and Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew: The Dark Side of the Crew.]

“Yeah, and don’t think it was easy getting the candy in those boxes past Pig-Iron without him eating any of it, either,” said Byrd as he finally managed to get his tie straight.

Rova chuckled. “True. The fact you even tried to sneak that candy past Pig-Iron, much less succeeded at it, indicates that you are taking her noticeably more seriously than most of your previous amorous pursuits.”

Byrd exited his quarters fully dressed. “Yeah, and speaking of amorous pursuits, how about you and Pepe Le Pew?”

Please, Mr. Rentals,” said Rova. “Leave the gossip to me.” And they both headed out toward the door.

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