My mother rang this morning. When she rings with a nature question, her opening gambit is generally something like: I’ve seen this bird. It had a long beak. What was it? This morning, to her credit, she had a question about rabbits and why they seem to disappear in winter. This caused me to reflect that, whereas last winter I had often watched rabbits on the common from my house while daydreaming, I had not seen a single bunny in weeks. We engaged in a far-reaching conversation about bunny biology, how our very own University of East Anglia is a world leader in lagomorph lore, and how some time ago Norfolk Wildlife Trust had become adept at the complex business of moving bunny social groups between Breck heaths in order to promote the short, scuffed sward necessary for rare plants and stone curlew breeding success.
As we burbled about bunnies, what should ping from the tussocky grass of the common but a bunny? In hot pursuit was the black and white cat with which avid readers are already familiar. Not content with torturing tits the foetid feline now has designs on my mammals.
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