Who killed Jade Rabbit

 

The Jade Rabbit rover on the surface of the Moon, 15 December

Jade Rabbit, ears outstretched

I thought it was just an odd coincidence that a huge denial of service attack (where hackers try to overwhelm parts of the internet with data) occurred just after the Chinese announced that their lunar rover was having a few teething problems (and rabbits have big teeth!).

The other day, I checked my WordPress spam remover and discovered the following account sitting in my queue. I figured it did no harm to post it up. The tale the writer has told clearly can’t be true, but truth is so often stranger than fiction. AND I did have a visitor look at the Curiosity story the other day but WordPress could not identify the country from which they had come. It made me check the news stories:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26153520

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25763168

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25356603

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-25908527

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26136774

So I’m still not sure. Are you?

OoO

Ni Hao! Greetings! S’mae! Yo!
First of all, it came off in my hand, in a manner of talking. I want you to understand this – it was an accident. After what happened on Mars, do you think I wanted to provoke you? Of course not.
I better explain who I am and why I am hijacking this interweb page. What? Oh, yes, sorry, borrowing this interweb page. If that is alright with you.
What I am called does not translate well, even using the best tools on your interweb. I am guessing that it does not matter that much anyway. We were all interested (even the elders!) in why you might land a huge machine on us and call it Yùtù – Jade Rabbit. From our understanding, it is neither a rabbit (“a gregarious burrowing plant-eating mammal, with long ears, long hind legs and a short tail”) or made of Jade (“a hard, typically green stone consisting of the minerals jadeite or nephrite, used for ornaments and implements”). My elders are telling me not to try to understand but still I am curious.
My elders here on our world want me to express my sorrow at having displaced a piece of your shiny rabbit. What? Oh, a shiny piece of your rabbit. As I have said, it came off in my hand. Your rabbit hopped and rolled across my… patch-of-ground-where-I-collect-and-grind-materials… my… what? Yes, farm. My farm. It flattened one of my… oh, untranslatable-machine-tools. It does not matter. Well, only to me it seems.
I and one my pulling-untranslatable-machine-tools… what? A tarctor? A tractor? What is a tractor? That is what the interweb calls it. One of those anyway. Alright then. I used my tractor to pull this Jade machine of yours away from the remains of my untranslatable-machine-tool, in the hope that I could salvage what was left. On the advice of elders I and nine others attached our tractors to a sturdy looking piece of the machine and, as one, pulled.
It was a glorious sight, or would have been had the piece of the rabbit we were all attached to detached from the machine more rapidly than nine of us could move. That is nine tractors that will never see sunlight again!
The piece that broke appears to be a belt of some kind. I feel bad because the rabbit has not hopped since, although it did not seem to do that in the dark anyway.
My elders told me to contact you and tell you what happened. I used the signal to and from the rabbit to attach to your interweb and look up everything I needed to know about language and other useful information. I may have… what? Oh, upset it a little to begin with. I think I may have turned it off a bit. Sorry about that but it took a bit of time to tune our computers to yours.
Your interweb is a wonderful thing full of all that information, all correct and present. Here on what you call the moon, we have such problems with grammar and language that we have all but given up writing anything down!
So, I hopped on your signal (like a rabbit you see?) and found this information source to use. I am sure the keeper of it will not mind. I never knew about the other machines here or on the other planet, Mars, either. That scared me a little – I thought I may have translated it wrongly but no. Your interweb has so many things that I do not understand. What is the curiosity for furry animals that stand on their back legs then fall over? And what does LOL mean? The two seemed to be connected.
So, I am sorry for the breaking of Jade Rabbit. I have no idea if we can mend it but we will try and move the machine again if we can.
Please do not come over and kill us to death!

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Categories: Short Story, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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