Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Duncan and I climbed the low hill at the base of the memorial, passing through the silent and empty prairie dog town that edges the side of the lake. The clouds were thick and settling down low and the northern skies offered brief but wide stripes of lightning. Near the top of the hill and at the edge of the park we passed The Shepherds, who'd joined forces with several other big dogs and their companions. They all turned our way and watched us walk by, leashing up their dogs until we were out of range. Duncan didn't notice them, content as he was to drag the heavy stick we'd found along the receding shore of the lake. We skirted the edge of the memorial and came down along the path that winds up from the parking lot. There's a point where the trail turns and as we neared it a wiry bunny, his face turned directly into the setting sun, leapt from the tall yellow grass right in front of us, less than two feet away. Duncan froze and I gasped, tightening my grip on his leash. The rabbit, a dusty brown with long white feet and tall ears tipped also with white, did not see us. His nose quivered and he took a slight hop forward and except for a quick twitch in his tail, Duncan did not move. I heard people on the trail behind us and turned slowly to wave them to a standstill, which they readily did once they spotted the rabbit edging toward us on the path. The skinny little thing thing moved forward again and stopped no more than a foot away, its nose twitching and eyes straining to see us through the thick evening glare. Duncan leaned slowly forward and the rabbit leaned up, too, and for the briefest of moments it looked as though their noses touched. The rabbit suddenly stiffened and jerked away before bolting back into the brush and down the side of the hill. Duncan seemed too dazed to move, the stick still dangling from his mouth. I could only smile while my heart raced in my chest. The small group of people behind us jogged up. "Did you see that?" they asked. "Did they actually touch?" "That was incredible," they exclaimed, patting Duncan on the back. We milled around a moment while Dunc strained and pulled on his leash, leaning as far forward as he could in the direction the rabbit had gone.

I have never seen such a thing. I did not expect to see it tonight but I'm happy I did.


Greg said...

Sounds like Dunc needs a supply of those denta-bones for fresh breath. He could be the diplomat of the animal kingdom if he gets the doggy breath thing nicked!!

Amazing moment...what a treat!!

Thor said...

Curt and Duncan!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Let´s be friends!


caboval said...

Wow that is magical!

Charles said...

Too cool, how many rabbits do that!

Sue said...

Awesome story Curt. I wish I could have seen it happen!

Rachel said...

That's amazing. My dog totally would have eaten the rabbit if given the chance.