The staff and rec office at the park is a messy place where they toss the discarded remnants of rusty goal posts and fraying soccer nets. It's an eye-sore, but it's also where I take Duncan every afternoon to prowl for bunnies. They huddle among the metal posts and beams and the tall thistles which grow along the back side of the fence, hide under the lowest boughs of the pines and dart for cover under the chain-link and scamper into the shed. But Duncan loves it, for the softness of the grass , the heavy scents the rabbits leave behind and the park worker who drives by nightly in his golf cart to make friendly conversation and toss him treats.
The rabbits usually hear our approach on the sand leftover from last winter's road work and take cover immediately, but tonight one poor fellow fled under the fence only to find himself trapped in the thick rope of a soccer net. While Duncan shimmied and shook at the sight of him I realized he was in trouble as he continued to attempt to force himself through, finally exhausting himself once his neck and legs were thoroughly caught. I asked Dunc to sit while I approached the frightened, struggling bunny, which had tipped over on his side, his back legs kicking uselessly his narrow rib cage heaving. with every breath. Very carefully I knelt down, and loosened the thick ropes from around him. He stayed still, his brown eyes fixed on my hands as I worked to release him. Finally the last of the cords fell free. He righted himself as Duncan scooted up beside me. Together we watched the rabbit watch us, his breaths coming more slowly, his muscles relaxing, his ears still tall and alert above his head. Roo leaned forward, licked his back and whimpered softly. I smiled and patted his head as the thing tensed, gave a quick jerked and darted a few feet away, stopping once to look back at us before hurrying across the parking lot and into the shadows of the elms on the far side.