Reluctant Playmate

“Reluctant Playmate”

Thirty-five years ago when we moved into our new house, our neighborhood, newly cut into the prairie, had jackrabbits, meadowlarks, rattlesnakes, and pronghorn antelope galore.  As our street and newer, neighboring developments filled in over the years, the wildlife changed with the landscape.  Now, we have doves, robins, blackbirds, frogs and toads if you’re patient and sharp-eyed, mice and voles, and bunnies… lots and lots of cottontail rabbits. Each morning, when I walk out the front door, there are rabbits in the yard; sometimes two, but usually just one.  In winter, most often there is one sitting near the driveway, having sought shelter for the night under whichever of our two cars had retained the most heat the evening before. I always give a greeting, “Good morning, Mr. Bun,” but he never responds. He sits stock-still in that manner that says, “Don’t notice me at all; I’m not really here.” But his eye follows me, and if I make the least move in his direction, he bolts.

I have learned not to take offense, though I certainly mean him no harm. I imagine that I’m frightening for my size, as well as for the gas-powered machines that I drive in and mow my yard with. Then, too, maybe he’s female, and takes understandable offense at being referred to as “Mister.” Or perhaps she/he’s offended at the casual arrogance of me and my species, who feel entitled to take over and alter whatever parts of the landscape, air, and water that we deem necessary, in utter disregard for the others who live there.

In any case, this drawing depicts a rabbit showing annoyance at the  hopping man’s assumption that he wants to join the game.


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