Help Arrives


Early yesterday morning, the skies were clear with a hint of spring in the fresh air. Our neighbours’ willow tree was welcoming a change of seasons. I had taken the dogs out into the yard. As I stood, enjoying the stillness, I realized it wasn’t still at all. Two sea lions called to each other, perhaps to claim their territory among the schools of herring  off the nearby beach. I love the deep sound of their barking, “OW! OW! OW!” I smiled to think that they were back to visit for a while. I know the herring fishermen don’t smile to see or hear them, but …

Before I could stop smiling, I heard, for the first time this year, a Eurasian collared dove calling from a stand of trees nearby.

Yes, spring is coming! Then a robin called its urgent pipping song, and a rufus-sided towhee added his two cents’ worth, asking, “ME? … ME?”

Later in the morning it was time to clean up the yard for the fourth time, after yet another windstorm. As I raked, I came across a circle of tufts of fur lying on the grass in the same place as the feathers of an eaten seabird lay a few months before. Both were under a tall fir –  the favourite tree stand for birds of prey, especially eagles and owls. These birds sit quietly and watch for their dinner to pass by underneath.

Ruby sees the rabbit fur and is most likely thinking about what probably happened here.

Will you look at that? No way he survived that much hair loss.

Ruby is shocked. She ponders the implications of losing a rabbit at this time of year.

Will there be an Easter? Who will paint the eggs and hide them?

But just as the sun was sending its last warm rays to light the underside of the clouds, I looked towards the hedge and saw ….

Reinforcements! He stands bravely under the killing tree and announces to the world:

Easter will go ahead as planned. And you owls, listen up. You can NEVER kill us all. Where there are two rabbits, there will soon be two thousand.

“Now if you’ll excuse me,” he says, “it’s less than a month until Easter and I have some serious work to do.”