Topic: "Hraka" (4)
Rabbits have a rough time in the Shire. The tasty flora are a temptation worth the risk however, so the night time visitors grow bolder despite the danger, and they are now visible almost any time of the day. Hawks use the area as a flyway, and coyotes patrol beyond the fences with a measure of regularity. Crossing nearby lanes ends the chase for love-starved suitors from time-to-time. Beau Neau has not pursued an adult as yet, but has accounted for the premature demise of several babies. Fiona is instinctively drawn to hidden nests, and some sort of inherited programming requires that her jaws abruptly separate life from the act of discovery. Frodo has very mixed feelings about all of this, and it has to do with the great anthropomorphic novel by Richard Adams, "Watership Down."
Frodo gives human qualities to rabbits, much as he does to the chimpanzees of Jane Goodall. To Frodo, the beauty of the rabbit is exceeded only by his simple lack of foresight. Despite the apparent wisdom of an occasional leader in the warren, the majority of rabbits seem prepared only to escape, but with no idea where. On several occasions, Mick, the Wonder Dog, has flushed a rabbit from the underbrush only to see the play object-scamper directly toward Frodo; perhaps sensing that Frodo is a gentler soul and slow of foot.
Frodo can occasionally identify a particular rabbit by sight. He tries not to do so, simply because the mortality of the subjects is limited. A female, who has produced multiple offspring, with almost universal futility, was struck by a motorcar, probably driven by a newspaper deliveryperson otherwise distracted, just the other morning. She was so soft, Frodo was glad only that the end had been apparently quick, and suffering was minimal. Death is a constant among those who visit the Shire, but losing something so soft and beautiful cannot pass unnoticed.
Frodo will miss the little lady, and cannot help but hope that another will soon take her place, even if it means sacrificing a few flowers along the way.