The leverets had only been the beginning. If Mahalo had been capable of making the noise, he would have squealed like a leveretmaid in love. Babies, babies, everywhere! This was what really made visiting Redwall such a treat, apart from the food - all those dibbuns living carefree, happy lives - it was adorable. When the Major was done having this shamefully feminine mental moment, he let himself be trampled and prodded and hugged and questioned to the little ones' delight. Everything from "mista hare, mista hare, why you so ginomus?" to "nunky mawler, guess, guess wot? I ate a worm t'day!" Mahalo hadn't had such a jolly time since… a while. Freedom began clearing out babes at about the same time Maulings's wound had taken enough abuse. He had to press his lips together and scowl a bit to keep from wincing at the pain, but it was increasingly difficult. Fearing the thought of being confined to the infirmary any longer than necessary, Mahalo sank down and back into the sheets, breathing carefully through his teeth. He had counted to 20 and back again before the pain ebbed enough for him to assume his taciturn mask without any bother. He became aware of a small, giggly presence splayed across his chest, and realized that Charlock was the only dibbun still with him - or indeed, near his bed at all - despite the fact that he could still hear the young uns making their racket. He ruffled Charlock's ears gently. "Better be gettin' back to y'ma and pa, sirrah. Wot 'ave all your little friends gotten into?" Charlock bounced to his footpaws, windmilling his arms to keep his balance on the bed. "Dey-- dey-- der wif auntie Snow!" thus explained, the dibbun jumped from Mahalo's bed and, presumably, joined the squealing pile on top of the obnoxious infirmary assistant. He remained stationary until the infirmary became largely free of dibbuns once again, looking up only when he heard Charlock's small voice. The last to leave, again. He was just in time to meet Snowdrop's gaze as she spun suddenly, staring him down. He returned her expressionless gaze, not in the least bit disturbed. For a moment, all he could discern was the storm. And then Snowdrop spoke first. "What," she said. Mahalo arched one thin, elegant eyebrow, just slightly. Normally, he would not have graced such a ridiculous statement with a response, especially when such ridiculousness was coming from his uncouth haremaid. But the sight of Charlock turning her headfur into an impressively accurate replica of the salad gardens at Salamandastron nearly caused him to seize with laughter. Laughing in public is not something Major M. Maulings does. In an almost desperate attempt at keeping his composure, he forced his face into a look of what he hoped was aloof disdain, and when he felt the beginnings of a giggle at the base of his chest, he choked out the first thing that came to mind. "Wot, indeed, miss. Don't stand there with y'mouth open, there may be flies about."