People (who have not yet read The Largest Rabbit) ask me why our hero the young dog is called Rubbish and how did he become a Rabbit Hound? This extract from The Winter Hare explains about who Rubbish is and how he got his name;
“Finn chuckled. He thought back about how Rubbish had come to live here in the walled garden. It had all begun when an old cloth bag was thrown from a speeding car. The two rabbits that saw the bag roll down the bank had helped to open it and out popped a little bundle of stripy fur. The stranger was not sure what his name was, but thought it must have been Rubbish as that’s what the people had said he was. The rabbits all decided he must be a rabbit too, so they took him home to the burrow where, over the weeks he grew taller, longer and pointier than all the others. They said he was, “The largest rabbit they had ever seen.” He knew he looked and acted differently to the other rabbits but he loved them as his family and they loved him too. To them he was just a funny looking rabbit but one of the family.
It was after meeting the mighty Finn, who was after all a very well educated, cheerful old deerhound, that Rubbish realised he was not a rabbit but a dog like Finn. He was a greyhound, though Finn declared that he should be called a rabbit hound as he protected the rabbits. In the magic of the walled garden Rubbish met Finn’s owners the Maid and the Butler, and their neighbour Jeffrey, an ancient, balding and wise (or so he told them) marmalade cat. Together they had vanquished an evil fox and his henchmen (two weasels) who had tried to grab all the rabbits in the warren. Realising that he was getting too big to live with the rabbits, Rubbish was taken in by Finn and his family but every day Rubbish still visited the rabbits to ensure that they were safe and do what all good rabbit hounds do. They all still agreed though that he was the Largest Rabbit in all the world.”
From “The Winter Hare” by Chris Dignam/Crafty Dog Books Cymru, Sept 2018. Illustration courtesy of Allison Rees/Coppertop Crafts