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November 26th 2009

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    The vegetable garden has Lettuce, Beets, Radish, Fennel and Coriander.  We have watched Sandhill Cranes caroling in the sky above us.  Woolly Bears are still hunting down porch shoes to hide in.  And he who will remain nameless has dispatched the Fair Skinned Rabbit who patrolled the fence line north of the barn.

    This is that time when young Owls must learn to feed.   It is a skill they learn by trying again and again and again.  And I suspect the other Rabbit, the Grey Rabbit that patrolled the briars and Goldenrod to the south of the barn, fell to Owl.  There was a clumsy mess of fur, where there must have been silent struggle. 

    Barred Owl is often heard.  And in the skeleton trees, some time ago, we saw a Horned Owl, and he is huge.  And sometimes, after the dark has come, there is that understanding of presence followed by silent movement that is suggestive of Owl.  How invisibly they can fly.

    I'll miss the sight of these two Rabbits, who would meet in the driveway to nibble clover at evening time.  They had an agreement, which would lead each running to his own territory when I wandered in their direction.   The Grey Cat too would watch them.

    

    

    Briefly toward the end of the summer, I could find the Fair Skinned Rabbit beside the vegetable garden gate.  He would look up at me and I would look down at him.  And we both knew he was far from home.  His fur was a pale grey, almost to silver in evening light, and when he moved, his fur was tan, the color of Deer hide against the white underside of his tail.

    The Grey Rabbit's territory had been ravaged by those things people do to tidy up and rearrange.  How neat it all seemed to me, but the Grey rabbit's hiding places, his runs and his smells had been made unfamiliar to him.  

    And the Grey Cat was proud of his achievement too.  When I woke up he was exhausted from self congratulation and his mistress could not help but be impressed by him.  I was told he had brought the Fair Skinned Rabbit into the house during the night.  There had been commotion of stamping around loud enough to have roused a less indolent person.  

     The Fair Skinned Rabbit was outside the kitchen door.  In the Zoroastrian tradition I picked him up, walked with him to the steep slope, and there I left him near to where he had lived.   

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tim candler

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(Barred Owl Call)