Over the hedge

A deer rescues a rabbit.

While I was enjoying a cup of coffee at the window, I saw a cat. Larger than any of our neighborhood cats, he was attacking a rabbit, flipping it into the air and then grabbing it and flipping it again.

I was furious and ran for the broom at the back door. But when I stepped outside, I saw a deer, a young buck whose antlers were just starting to grow. He was watching the cat and before the cat could grab the rabbit again, he moved forward. The cat moved slightly away.

The deer nosed the rabbit gently and browsed nearby. Furtively, the cat moved toward the rabbit, but the deer whirled protectively whenever he came too close. The rabbit never moved.

I don't know how long this went on; I was too engrossed to look at my watch. Finally, the cat gave up. The deer, however, continued to nose the rabbit, seeming to encourage it to move. The crisis must have passed because the rabbit sat up. The deer watched until the rabbit began limping slowly toward the woods. Then, he moved on.

I felt the deer deserved a reward and sprinkled dried corn around the browsing area. I thought that his sensitive nostrils might lead him to return to this gift from an anonymous friend.

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