This website is for the entertainment and education of Dominic, Eleanor, Emily and Ada
Hector the house rabbit goes wild with the Coneys of Pine Cone Club
Hector the house rabbit goes wild with the Coneys of Pine Cone Club

Hector Goes Wild
or how Hector the House Rabbit introduced the Three Secrets of Success to the Wild Rabbits of Hampton Court

 

Hector is one of a litter of white, long-haired rabbits bred to live with humans. He is bought by the Davie family, and quickly settles into his role as adored pet. He absorbs human culture, in particular through the medium of television, although his favourite programmes are wildlife documentaries.


Hector is not just one of the family but also, naturally, a tasty dinner for Foxy, and a momentary lapse by Mummy allows fate to catapult Hector into the jaws of nature in the raw.

 

Of course, he is adopted by wild rabbits who are actually rather cultured. The colony has a most unusual history, not at all like anything Hector has seen on the television. While the wild rabbits work hard to get him back home, Hector finds he has much to learn, but also a lot to share.

The Fabulous Belt of Hampton

The Fabulous Belt of Hampton


Hector's Midsummer Madness
or how Hector the House Rabbit learns about the magical beasts of Hampton

 

Do you like wildlife programmes? Hector the house rabbit loves them. His favourite programme is “Springwatch” and his favourite episode is the one where a tiny camera is poked down into a rabbit warren, examining every nook and cranny, leaving no poo unturned.


Or rather it was his favourite until he met the wild rabbits on the other side of the garden hedge. Their warren was not at all what he expected. The rabbits of Hampton Court were very special indeed, as you will see, and for little snowy Hector, life was never the same again.


In this adventure Hector returns to the wild, meets up with several new characters from Hampton Court and learns that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

 

A frolicking tale served in a rabbit skin, the story uses history, mythology and modern technology to tackle various subjects; the human relationship with Nature, surviving a multi-family existence, and the most difficult subject, that of loneliness and bullying. We all know how difficult it is for some children to thrive while they straddle different regimes and pecking orders.  We humans have an inherent sense of justice and not having recourse to it, either in the home or at school, causes children great anger and upset, often triggering naughty behaviour.

 

Fairy tales provide magical problem-solvers; they pop in when intervention is required and pop out again having administered a spoonful of good sense. In reality, there is no greater magic than the friendship and support of your tribe or pack.  How do you make and keep friends in your new place?  Why, you need the ‘Rabbit’s Three Secrets of Success’ which are - always join in, play nicely and most importantly tell an adult if there is trouble.  It’s just common sense!  Whether split between two families, or off to a new school, it is comforting to know that with the right attitude and some good advice you can cope with whatever adventure comes your way.

 

I have tried to create a character that captures the essence of a young child: Hector is cuddly, adorable, fun, naive, vulnerable, always hungry, and requires a mountain of accessories and instructions.  Discovering the rabbit warrens in Bushy Park and Hampton Court in 2010 gave me the device I needed to make an interesting contrast between different lifestyles, as medieval and modern cultures are in such close proximity.  The Hampton Warrens were man-made for the farming of rabbits.

 

Hampton Court is home to the world famous Palace and nearby Garrick’s house and theatre, where Shakespearean plays were brought back into fashion. Before Cardinal Wolsey built the palace, the site was an Order of St John’s hospital and farm for medicinal herbs, hence the symbol of a red cross associated with healing.

 

Diana the goddess of the moon and the creatures of the wild at Hampton Court

Diana the goddess of the moon and tthe creatures of the wild

By the way, did you know, well they do say, that Shakespeare came to Hampton Court on Midsummer’s Eve to see the magical statues come to life, but because the event is a very private affair, he missed the magic, and so instead wrote Midsummer Night’s Dream

Humphrey the Lord of the Hampton Deer

Summer visitors to the Park watch a band of young actors perform the Shakespeare play Midsummer Night’s Dream, a comedy telling how the Queen of the Fairies fell in love with a donkey.  Humphrey the Lord of the Hampton deer and Head of the Herd finds the play absolutely ridiculous.  He stamps his hoof during the performance and bellows loudly, “the queen of the fairies would never fall in love with an old donkey, not when the park is full of such handsome deer, with such magnificent crowns of horns.”

 

Hector's Midsummer Madness Jo Rutherford

The Lord and Lady of Hampton Court Warren
Sir Guy and Lady Elouise de Hampton, the Lord and Lady of Hampton Court Warren

 as depicted by Georgie Hampton, a trainee artist at Hampton Court Warren

Medieval roots of Hampton Court
Hector's Tale Jo Rutherford
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