Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

© 2006-2018 All rights reserved

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Lucky Rabbit

Late yesterday afternoon, I started out the kitchen door to feed the dogs and horses. My kitchen door opens into the garage. Usually the working cats are waiting in the garage about the time I’m going out. Sure enough, Camilla was there. So was Buford, and he wasn’t alone. Between his paws was a small rabbit—not a baby, more like an adolescent.

Buford is deaf, so my yelling at him was in vain. (My husband says Buford is such a good hunter because he has no distractions.) I was about to yell to my husband to come remove the body when I saw it move. The rabbit was still alive.

I sat down my bowl of dog food, grabbed Buford by the nape of his neck, and deposited him inside the kitchen. Normally I wouldn’t surprise Buford by suddenly grabbing him—he usually jumps up hissing and clawing when he’s surprised—but this was an emergency. I then yelled at Camilla, who’d become especially interested in the rabbit now that it was up for grabs. She ran out of the garage, and the rabbit ran behind the snow shovels near the open garage door. Eventually I lured Camilla into the house.

I feared the worst for the bunny. How badly was it hurt? My husband came out and moved the shovels so he could scoop up the body. To our surprise, the rabbit took off running at top speed. It didn’t stop until it got to the road, 250 feet away. I followed the rabbit to check on it. When it saw me coming, it darted away—again at top speed, crossed the road, and climbed the bank into the cow pasture. As fast as that rabbit ran, we figured it was OK.

What the rabbit knew: When in a dangerous situation, get out of it as fast and as far as possible.

When I took the dog food to the kennel, rain started falling. Zig-zags of lightning flashed toward the south. I counted the seconds between flash and crash. About three miles. I stopped dishing out feed to Emma and Maggie (Jack, Hubert, and Harley were deep in the dog stall and didn’t dare come out) and went under the horses’ run-in shed. Melody, my big 17-year-old Tennessee walker, came running down the hill to join me. She and I stood under the shelter and watched the rain really pour down in earnest. Big bolts of lightning flashed toward the north. I counted two seconds—Union Hall must be getting pounded. Melody and I were safe in the run-in shed.

What Melody and I knew: When in a dangerous situation, seek shelter.

My old mare, Cupcake, didn’t join us. I called and called, banged the grain can against the gate, called some more— but she wouldn’t come in. When the heavy rain started, she stood her ground, turned her tail toward the wind, and lowered her head. She stayed put until the brief storm was over. Then she came in to be fed. In her 25 years, she’s weathered a lot of storms.

What Cupcake knew: When in a dangerous situation, know that it won’t last forever. Stay put until it’s over.

Now, how do you know when to run, when to seek shelter, and when to stay put?


Blogger Leslie Shelor said...

Lucky bunny indeed!

8:27 PM  

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