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May 22nd, 2008

Watching for Our Rabbits


Rainforest, southern Costa Rica, originally uploaded by gurdonark.

Our little neighborhood is positively a warren. Small bunnies hop everywhere. They prove more than a bit absurd, because at their tender ages, they only know one defensive mechanism--freeze and hope not to be noticed. It's as if the real rabbit in the children's story longed most of all to be velveteen.

Our current working theory, developed without the benefit of a DNA analysis, is that our dog Beatrice is half hound. Yet for many a walk, I would spot rabbits in neighbors' side yards to which Beatrice would be oblivious.

All that changed. Now when we walk, Bea perpetually spots bunnies, and strains towards them, not with a will to break her leash, but with a kind of longing, like that elven fellow Legolas longing for the sea.
Bea longs for a sea of rabbits.

It's really not a tragedy to her that we never allow her to pursue her longing. In the one instance I know in which they caught a bunny, which broke my heart a bit, the thrill of capture paled next to the thrill of the chase.

There's a grand metaphor here, I know there must be--why would bunnies be developed through countless generations of evolution other than for the purpose of providing me with a post this evening?

It's a deep, subtle metaphor about longing, and the virtue of looking for that gleaming city, and how it is always still a leash pull away.