Hare in the grass

Today is haibun Monday at dVerse. The theme is the best meal you ever had, if you want to join in. I had already written a haibun on Saturday which doesn’t fit the theme at all so I’ll probably sit this one out, but it’s what I was thinking over this weekend so I’ll post it here anyway.

And since I’m not following the prompt, I may as well not follow the rules of a haibun either. I wrote two haiku to follow the prose. Choose whichever you prefer.

Photo©John Fielding


I want so much to belong to this place, to absorb every petal of every flower, the opening buds, the birds that fill the trees. I listen and I watch, where water rills and winged shapes flit among the tracery of the branches. But listening and watching, the wheels turn, the gears shift and emotion becomes knowledge. It gives names and habits, category and genus, dry as dust not green and sappy or hot as blood.

Do egrets know they are egrets, that their pure white beauty stops the heart? Does my wonder break into their indifference? And what pleasure do I retain from the sight of a leveret, speckled and fragile, in the long grass, when my clumsy tread wrung a heart-rending cry of pain and terror from such a baby?

We trample the long grasses and nodding flowers, break branches, muddy waters, and go our way like a hurricane, leaving devastation in our wake, nests disturbed, young dispersed, a whole generation lost. We live on the edge of wilderness, never a part of it, merely onlookers, treading flat-footed and careless on all that we cannot understand, even the miracle of beauty that is a wild hare.


A cry in the grass

speckled struggling then stillness—

may night sooth the pain.


Grass, a frail nest, hides

speckled hare in dappled sun—

night has fox’s teeth.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

9 thoughts on “Hare in the grass”

    1. Thank you. I was mortified that I’d hurt the poor little thing. It just sat there perfectly still while I checked that I hadn’t broken its back. Later, the mother came for it and hustled it back to the nest.

    1. It was a horrible experience, tramping on it in my wellies. They hide so well and so still I didn’t see it. Neither did my great imbecile of a sight hound. And it cried so pitifully. I felt awful.

      1. It’s a sort of human fault that we urban dwellers just don’t fit into the natural environment. I bet even elephants don’t mistakenly tread on other people’s babies.

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