Not all that sparkles is gold, as Hamish will testify

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WHO framed the rabbit in the jewellers window in Hawick last week?, writes Sally Gillespie

How Roger, or rather ‘Sparkle’ the wild bunny (as it was named by staff), got there last Thursday remains a mystery.

Police laughed rather than brought charges against it after the alarm at Hamish D. Smith’s shop in Bourtree Place alerted them and owner Mr Smith that evening.

The jeweller said: “I can’t stop laughing yet,” adding that townspeople had also been amused by the incident. “I’ll be walking along the street and see somebody walking towards me and they start smiling, some of them don’t even bother stopping. I can’t believe this has happened, it’s hilarious.”

He, his wife Sylvia and their daughter Janey had finished their evening meal in the flat above the store when the sensitive shop alarm sounded.

“We’ve had trouble with boys kicking footballs against the shutters which activates the alarm before and we’ve had the odd bird in, about once every two years,” he said.

“I came down with trepidation but I did wonder because it was early.

“I heard a little tinkly noise which sounded like crystal glasses knocking. I thought ‘that’s funny’ and that it must be a bird.

“I didn’t want to startle it and crept forward and then saw this shape – I thought it was a hamster because my daughter has them upstairs, but it would have been long shot for it to find its way through the rafters and beams to the shop. As I got closer I saw its ears.”

Far from finding Harvey, the giant rabbit of actor James Stewart’s imagination in the 1950 film of the same name, Mr Smith said the small creature was pressed up against the glass: “I stroked it quietly,” he said.

Then he went upstairs to tell his disbelieving wife. By then, police had arrived.

The family caught ‘Br’er Rabbit’ and animal-lover Janey kept and fed the animal – “she thought it was a bit thin,” said Mr Smith – until Sunday when she released it in the Roberton valley.

“It seemed young and she reckoned it would be okay in the wild again. It just hopped across the field,” said Mr Smith.

Perhaps the Easter bunny got his dates mixed up or maybe Bugs Bunny, stocking up on carrots, mistook the jewellers for a greengrocers.

But how the wild creature came to be in the window next to figurines remains a mystery.

The shop is open all day and Mr Smith thinks it may have come down from the church yard behind and been startled and hopped into the shop and hidden.

“It could have happened at any time.

“When we closed it must have started to explore a bit.”

But Thumper overdid it and bumped into the ornaments.

“It had knocked over a china ornament which must have hit the glass which activated the alarm,” guessed Mr Smith.