Bani-Walid, Libya - Citizens defending this stronghold of Muammar Ghadaffi thwarted a recent plot by members of the National Transitional Council (NTC) to infiltrate their city with a giant wooden rabbit.
The rabbit, owned by the BBC, had been in storage in London since the 1970's but was offered to the rebel forces when officials at the BBC heard that the rebels were involved in a siege situation.
The hollow sculpture was a large item of handsome animal art, designed to conceal up to twelve people. Asked if this was not the oldest trick in the book, NTC spokesperson Abdul Wahleed appeared defensive. "We had not heard of it before, and neither had the citizens of Bani-Walid. In our culture it is much more traditional to conceal individuals within a rolled carpet".
Wahleed explained how the plan failed. "Everything would have worked fine had not one of the infiltrators inside the rabbit completely muffed it. As the commander of the town defenses gave the order to admit the gift, the rabbit sighed and said 'God is great'. All went downhill from there, and they lobbed the rabbit back at us with a catapult".
Asked whether the failure of the plan constituted a major setback, Wahleed seemed undeterred. "In fact, it was not a total loss," said Wahleed. "We were delighted to find Graham Chapman's wallet inside the rabbit along with many vintage sweet wrappers and a stylish wing-tip shoe."
Asked how the NTC intended to end the siege, Wahleed said, "We are considering our options. It was suggested to us that we ask the BBC about a giant wooden badger, but after discreet inquiries they have informed us with their deepest regrets that this particular item was never actually built."