Part of the enjoyment I get from my environment comes from the creatures I share it with. One of them, a big rabbit I've dubbed "Walter," has been a fixture around the studio for quite a while. At first Walter would dash off into the woods the minute he spotted me approaching, but after a while he must have realized I'm no threat. Eventually, instead of fleeing, he'd calmly go about meal-gathering on the lawn, remaining just a few feet away when I entered or departed the studio.
I had become really fond of the little guy, so when he abruptly disappeared recently I was worried. There's no shortage of predators around here, namely coyotes. The woods surrounding us are full of them.
Several days went by with no sign of Walter. Hoping to see him every time I looked out the window, I became more and more convinced he had met his demise. The den he had made for himself out behind the garden shed remained empty and took on an abandoned look. I was heartsick.
This past Tuesday was a rough day. Tornadoes, torrential rain and high winds toppling trees had me feeling frazzled and uneasy. I was cranky and overtired from spending the previous night on storm vigil as our area was pounded by violent weather. When a lull in the downpour gave me a chance to make a run for the studio without drowning, I grabbed my keys and headed out.
There in the soggy gloom was Walter! I was so happy to see him I almost shouted. Instead, I kept my voice soft and low as I greeted him and told him I'd missed him. He remained perfectly still, nose twitching, those oversized ears trained in my direction, listening intently. Clearly he was alive and well. Had he been off visiting a lady friend? Had he been away on vacation? We'll never know. All I knew was that it was a big relief to have him back. He may be just a rabbit, but Walter has become something of a pet.
The storms have passed, the weather is beautiful. The sun is shining, the birds are singing. I look out the window to see Walter hopping about in the dandelions. The sight of him makes me smile. In this tiny corner of the universe, for now, anyway, all is right with the world.
Text and image ©2014 Lynn Edwards