One cool grey morning a few weeks ago Pepper and I were out extra early with the frisbee. The grass was still wet with morning dew, and birds were greeting the day with their soft morning sounds. The baby dinosaur hadn’t started its screeching and screaming in the treetops yet (the juvenile red tailed hawk sounds positively prehistoric when it’s calling for its bloody breakfast).
I threw the frisbee towards a far corner of the yard, near a great section of bushy undergrowth between us and a neighbor. Pepper was running to catch the disc when we both spotted it: a flash of brown and white emerging from the dark, thick green. Pep changed course mid-stride, dashing towards it, but the creature bounded towards another neighbor’s yard and leapt over the fence. It was gone in half a breath.
“What was that?!” Pep panted, all worked up. “It was kind of like a dog – but so tall and slender! It was agile and fast like a bunny! It was so beautiful. Why did it run away?”
“It ran away because you chased it,” I answered.
“It was so exciting,” Pep said, anguished. “I wanted to see it up close. I wanted to be near it. I wanted to smell it!”
“But you chased it,” I noted.
“Yes, I chased it,” she echoed sadly. We walked back up the house. She needed some water after the morning’s exertions, and I was ready for my tea.
“Our first impulse isn’t always the right one,” I pointed out. “And good things are often elusive, especially when you chase them. Maybe next time we’ll just watch,” I suggested.
“Or maybe next time I’ll be faster,” she suggested mournfully.
* * *
Later in the day – and I’m not making this up – Pep saw a bunny close to a thick privet hedge in another part of our yard. The bunny munched contentedly on its mixed salad while Pep stood close to the edge of our driveway and observed.
“Pep,” I whispered. “It’s amazing how you’re…”
“I know better than to chase a bunny that far away,” she scoffed.