By the Light of the Silvery Moon


Moon, Porous, Copse

Dense fog winds its way around and between evergreen treetops.  At ground level a little rabbit nibbles green clover, sweet and wet with dew.  He watches and listens for trouble, the fog making it difficult to tell where each noise comes from.  Not being able to see magnifies the danger, each sense is at attention and his nerves are jumpy.

The lower branches of this old pine tree form a skirt that he can hide under.  He is safe for now.  He looks out cautiously, staying near the copse of trees and safety.  Even at night there are things in the woods that are best left alone; the rabbit instinctively knows to be careful.

A whisp of fog slips under the tree branches, a white finger of cold, wet air.  The siren call of fresh clover and greens is too much to resist and the rabbit ventures out.

An old Great Horned Owl swoops down in silence and after a brief struggle the rabbit worries no more.  The owl is an old one, weighing just over 3 lbs. with a five foot wingspan.  He easily grasps the rabbit in his talons and takes to the air.  He rises above the treetops, above the fog and into the starry night.

He carries the rabbit across the valley and into the nearby mountains.  A lake, black and shiny passes below him.  There is no fog here, up high in the mountains; the moons reflection paints the surface of the water with silver light.  A nest, high in a big old evergreen holds 2 owlets.  They are hungry and begin to squeal when they see the rabbit.  Almost old enough to fly themselves, they are not yet ready to leave the nest.  They tear into the rabbit as their father watches from a branch, fussing with his wing.

The owl is tired from the hunt; although he easily carried the 3 lb. rabbit his bones are porous like that of any bird.  The rabbit damaged his wing in their brief struggle, but it isn’t too serious and he will hunt again soon.  His mate approaches with her catch.  Everyone will dine well tonight!

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