The Ballad of New Moon

A rabbit, bird of prey, cat, and a rural crisis counselor engage in a highly unlikely yard tussle for survival.

In our second spring at Whiskey Jane, we noticed a resident rabbit with a perfect half-moon shape missing from his left ear. We of course referred to him as Half Moon. He also had a family, however, so in keeping we called his female counterpart Full Moon, and one of the more precocious baby bunnies, New Moon. They made regular appearances around the property.

One particular early evening, I sat on the living room sofa working on my laptop as Kara reentered the room from the rear of the house. I looked up to see escalating expressions of shock, horror, and disbelief, distort her countenance as she stood gazing out onto the lawn through the windows behind me. The emotive utterances she emitted I can no longer recall, but they were accompanied by increasingly violent and beckoning hand gestures.

I stood up and turned around just in time to see New Moon high-tailing it towards sanctuary beneath the pumphouse, with a never-before-seen cat in hot pursuit. The young bunny made it under the structure safely as Kara, now screaming in backwoods tongues, launched from the house and broke into an Olympic-like sprint across the lawn.

Purposeful and surprisingly speedy given her lack of footwear and what had to have been tight hamstrings, she cut a direct path across the property - one hand fanned perfectly for reduced wind drag, the other tightly clutching a black-cased late-model iPhone matched in color by her t-shirt, skinny jeans, and long trailing hair. I watched in amazement as she accelerated, almost catching up to the feline predator on the other side of the yard before it realized the true seriousness of her pursuit and vanished into the woods beyond the garden. As she walked back, my saucer-eyed partner began providing the stunning details of the drama's first act, which I had missed. Thus allowing me to paint the complete picture.

It turns out that as Kara was walking into the living room, she witnessed a predatory bird of some sort descend from the sky, pluck a scurrying New Moon clean from terra firma, and start a climb towards the treetops where the rabbit's fate would have surely been sealed. But somehow, New Moon was able to free him/herself from the talons of his/her captor, just feet from the ground.

As the stunned lagomorph fell the short distance back to earth, the mystery cat emerged from its forested hiding place. Then, picking up the predatory baton from its failed predecessor, chased an all-at-once incredibly lucky and unlucky New Moon back to home base, where he/she no doubt took physical and emotional inventory. With nary a moment to process its disappointment, the second of the baby bunny's assailants looked up to see a goth banshee bearing down hard, fast, and with a substantial payload of bad intentions. Which then caused the cat to retreat in as hasty a manner as it could muster.

Fresh from the chase, I offered my would-be rabbit savior a beer and a kiss through still-laughing lips. There would be several more scenes of wildlife entertainment over the years, but this was going to be a tough act to follow.

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Adam Sawyer