LONGLEAF STORIES

full circle in the hundred acre wood

An afternoon thunder storm announced itself with an aggressive dark cymbal that propelled Maggie from her nearby mat straight to my side, her 65 pounds of chocolate Labrador Retriever warm, trembly.

It was a brief storm, and the sun began shining brightly again even while a slantwise rain was washing the car.

A young doe came out to nibble on the corn Buck had put out for all the critters near the big oak tree out front. Earlier, just before the storm, I had taken out a bowl of softening apples cut up into quarters, and emptied it near that gathering tree. Another, larger deer, emerged from the wood and they touched noses.

The wheat and rye that Buck and our friend Harold planted out front last fall has headed out, the stalks shining white gold in the afternoon sun. It was beautiful.

I was standing at the window in the study watching the deer through binoculars when I saw the first rabbit in the tall grass. It was up on its haunches, looking all around with those large eyes, then it crouched low, and then FLASH, it was gone, chased by another rabbbit! They zigged, they zagged, they raced around in circles, they jumped over each other. It was manic.

They looked like exuberant kids. Kids before I-Pods, kids before malls, kids who watch bunnies to learn once again how play Hide and Seek.

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