• Sam Baker

win win

This is the summer of the rabbit. They are everywhere. Not as a plague but as part of the landscape. And plentiful. Contrary to my preconceived notion, rabbits don't run especially fast. Or a lot. Their defense is stillness. As in not running. Eye. Mouth. Cotton Tail. Not a thing moves on the hiding in plain sight rabbit. Stillness reigns.


Each stands as fixture. A statue on the windblown landscape. Or like the broken stub of a fallen mesquite limb. Or a grayish brown rock separate from other rocks.


I suppose the eyes of predators are especially attuned to movement. So anything that does not flow with wind, leaves, and grass- anything that catches the eye, may fall in the prey category. And that of course is rabbit. So to encourage the predator eye to pass over, to not register as prey, the rabbit becomes the ground. Harmonized with the quiet dirt.


Dirt.


That is our next season. The dirt season. We are at it’s beginning. Dirt season is late this year. June and July Rains have forced a delay. It is not like New England with four seasons. Nope. There are two seasons. The first is dirt season. The second is wild growth and thorns season. Then dirt season again. Then more wild growth with thorns. An explosion of dirt. And explosion of thorns. Of weeds. Then dirt again. We are semi arid. So desert sometimes. Crazy rain other times. And flood. And drought. Then flood. Then drought. Dirt and thorns.


When Rabbit runs (thank you John Updike). It runs to thorn. See Br'er Rabbit for reference. It is a zen like thing. The world rushing about. Br're Rabbit has turned itself to stone in the briar patch. Unmoving. Then movement. Quick. Not fast. And strategic. A quick move to prickly pear- or any number of thornish things. It quick hop to an umbrella of thorns. A thorned dome. It must take patience though to be still with the shadow of a red tail hawk moving past on the ground. The shadow of death. The harbinger of one rabbit's end time. Flood and drought. Yin and bingo. Yang.


It is their job. The hawks. The other predators. It is their calling. Their job. The snagging of the still rabbit. Especially when the rabbit sits on dirt barren of plant life. A snaggable rabbit exposed to the sky.


I read in a Montana magazine that there is a injection (like an epi pen) a hiker can carry when in the back country. If a bear attacks, then the self administered shot will render the hiker temporarily unconsciously. It is instant. It is the shot that does what comes natural to the rabbit. Stillness. However there are differences. The hiker appears to have suddenly died. Not invisible. Not harmonized with the landscape. But appears d. e. a. d..


99 percent of bears, according to the article, leave seemingly dead people alone. (I have not checked the data on that on. Meaning where did they get that number? Is there a study?) The implication is that bears must not find already dead hikers tasty. That last one percent though presents a problem. But as the article says, it is better to be eaten if one is not awake any way.


So win win.


I guess.




the miracle of it

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