An even more amazing rabbit chase

It was the most amazing rabbit chase to date. And seeing as we’ve had a rabbit bounce off our legs and escape at a 90° angle (honest!), that’s saying something.

We were in an open area, with woods about 50 meters ahead, when suddenly one of the dogs burst out of the woods, chasing a young rabbit straight down the path towards us. Had the dog been Benji or Jordan, the rabbit would already be dead, but the dog chasing it wasn’t one of the faster ones.

And the little rabbit wasn’t fast at all.

jackrabbit
From Pinterest, source unknown

Syd and I immediately stood on the path in the way of the dog and shouted. No time to think, but with the other dogs behind us, in a completely open area, the little rabbit was seconds away from being torn to shreds.

But then something amazing happened.

We didn’t scare the dog, which continued running. But the rabbit abruptly turned around and ran (as fast as it could, but not real fast) straight back on the trail it had just come down, into the woods. All by itself.

Dogs? No, they were running furiously in the opposite direction. They made a wide arc onto the sand road nearby and reversed direction, and it looked like they still had a good chance to intercept the rabbit.

And then they were running everywhere – could the rabbit possibly escape?

Yes.

Which gave an amazing chase a particularly happy ending.

 

And a _________ in the pear tree

No, not a partridge. A pear. One and only one single lonely pear, which will be our entire harvest from this tree this year – if we’re lucky and the birds don’t get to it first.

pear tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lines in the sand

The few hundred acres of scrub bushes and pine trees we where we walk dogs has little in the way of stunning beauty, and sometimes glaring examples of human ugliness, but it does not have thousands of people like the beach.

And it almost always has fascinating little discoveries, like these lines in the sand.

grass, sand

They must have been caused by wind and the grass, but how exactly they managed to make those outward curves was not at all clear.

 

The amazing rabbit chase

It was over in seconds.

We were walking in an area of shrubs, dogs lingering behind. Suddenly a YIP! from Jordie, and I swing around to see him flushing a rabbit to the right across the path behind us. But there’s Kiya, and the rabbit abruptly turns right, on the path, toward us, Kiya barely a length behind. Not good. I instinctively place my feet wide on the path, to force the dog to detour, if only for a split second.

BAM! The rabbit bounces off the inside of my right leg. I spin my head around. Syd has turned halfway around to the right and BAM! it bounces off the outside of his right leg. This carom serves to change its course 90 degrees, and instantly it’s gone into the brush.

And then even more amazing — the five “chaser” dogs completely miss it, and go charging up the path ahead. Only Leah, the princess who prefers watching chases to participating in them, spots the rabbit’s real path, and takes off into the bushes after it. Seconds  later it’s obvious the rabbit has escaped, which comes (happily) as no surprise.

And then the other dogs, who had chased ahead on the path, reappear from behind. Go figure.

The amazing rabbit chase
Running Hare Drawing by Malcolm Tait, Saatchi Art (click for source)

 

Syd has recounted several times the occasion when a flushed rabbit ran out of the bushes and through his legs, but never before contact, much less such a perfectly set up carom that the rabbit-hunting dogs completely missed.


During our time walking dogs together, there have been two kills, bring the total over all the years Syd has walked there to maybe seven. The first occurred at the end of the walk. A young rabbit bolted when five dogs were within a few meters, and didn’t stand a chance. Benji proudly came away with fresh blood on his back, having rolled on it. The second, recently, involved a longer chase, from which all of the dogs returned except Benji. Finally he emerged from the bushes with a dead rabbit in his mouth (no way of knowing who actually caught it). My immediate feeling was that I was looking at a classical painting.

I don’t recall having seen one, so I set out to look, and found this.

Sir Edwin Landseer: The Champion painting
Sir Edwin Landseer — interesting guy: click for story

But that dog, except for its size, looks surprisingly like Leah, the non-rabbit-hunter. Go figure.