So when you're cold [...]
Remember love and friendship,
And warmth will come to you.
-Stephen Cosgrove, The Gnome from Nome
The farmer's hrududu was still travelling on the road, with Fiver and Vilthuril still on board. They had already eaten a certain amount of flayrah, so they slept for most of the trip. About two hours after the departure from the farm, the hrududu suddenly stopped. The air was full of numerous smells, most of which the rabbits had never smelled before. There were also many sounds, all made by humans. Evidently the hrududu had stopped in a dense human settlement, thought they did not know that they were near the Port of London.
The rabbits were still getting over the shock of this new, dangerous place, when they heard the farmer approach. Before he could spot them, they jumped into a large crate full of lettuce. As it was nearly full, they could hardly move without attracting attention.
-What did we get ourselves into? wondered Vilthuril.
-Don't worry, we will be able to get out of here soon, replied Fiver.
The farmer walked around the back of the hrududu, absent-mindedly examining his load. Since the spring, he sold part of his vegetables to a major food company, which shipped them overseas for processing. The vegetables looked delicious and he would probably get a good price for them. There were a few leaves of kale and lettuce on the floor, half-eaten by the rabbits, but he believed they had simply fallen out of their crates during the trip. He made a mental note to drive more carefully next time.
A forklift then went in reverse towards the farmer's hrududu and picked up the first crate. Soon afterwards, another forklift picked up the the one where Fiver and Vilthuril were hiding. It was a rather unpleasant experience for them, as they found themselves being shaken and moved around without being able to do anything about it.
After a while, the shaking stopped. The place the rabbits were in felt unusually cold and was full of new smells. They jumped out of the crate and inspected the area. It contained lots of vegetables, but also several other substances with which they were not familiar. While Vilthuril wandered through the hold, Fiver remained motionless near the lettuce crate. After a while, he finally spoke:
-This place is mostly safe, but it's cold. So cold.
-You're right about that, said Vilthuril. What I don't understand is where all this cold comes from. There isn't any snow, so it can't be winter.
-This place is definitely the doing of humans. Who knows why or how they build places like this? Either way, we must stop this cold.
The refrigerated hold of the ship felt even colder to rabbits than to humans. While the employees who visited it wore warm clothes when they did so, the rabbits did not have this luxury.
-I hope we will find a way to stop the cold, but until then, I guess we shall have to stay active, concluded Vilthuril, and sleep closely together to stay warm. At least food won't be a problem, with all this flayrah.
With that, they went to explore the rest of the hold. It was very large and there were plenty of small hiding spots and tunnels inside and between crates. It was a nice place, apart from the cold.