"Then God commanded, 'Let the earth produce all kinds of animal life; domestic and wild, large and small, and it was done. So God made them all, and He was pleased with what He saw" (GNB Genesis 1:24, 25).
Several years ago, I bought a parcel of land, built a home, and settled down to enjoy the joys of country living. Although I hired a contractor to develop the land, I still had a lot of personal landscaping to do. After the brush hogging was complete, I cranked up my chainsaw and began clearing out the brush in certain areas. One heavily brushy area diverse with cedars, mesquites, wild mustang vines, and small oaks stood between my neighbor’s yard and mine. We both just mowed around it. I thought about clearing out some of the thick underbrush, but didn’t exactly know where to begin. Finally, I decided to keep it as a wildlife preserve for all the animals of the field.
With all the noise and newness of “human” activity going on, most of the animals moved out. But it wasn’t too long before I noticed a cottontail or two venturing across the yard. Every time I neared them; however, they would rush back into the brush.
Three years ago, I bought a miniature German Schnauzer and named her Trudy. She weighs about 11 pounds and is not much bigger than the cottontails. Trudy is feisty and loves chasing the rabbits. In fact, when she spots them through the door, she begins to whine so loudly that it causes the chimes to ring.
As Trudy grew bigger and whined louder, off she would dart after the rabbits. She skipped and hopped across the field as if imitating her furry friends and always chasing them back into the wildlife preserve. She never wanted to catch them, just follow them, and occasionally whine about it.
I watched delightfully. If the rabbit ran slowly, Trudy slowed down. I began to worry about the rabbits because I had read that they might appear calm and tame; but in reality they are scared to death, frozen in fear. Cottontails have also been known to suffer heart attacks due to trauma. However, they did not seem to be traumatized by Trudy so I allowed them to play their game. I think they realized that she did not pose a threat to them.
Soon, the rabbits began appearing in bunches—as many as seven or eight of them together in the yard. Very seldom, did they run off when I walked outside. But as soon as Trudy came outside, the chase began.
One day, I witnessed a highly unusual sight. Trudy began barking wildly at the front door, not her usual whine. I looked out the window—no one there. Still, she continued to bark. Finally, I opened the front door and Trudy shot out of the house; cottontails scattered everywhere. They had been grazing inches from the front deck and under the birdbath.
Three bunnies scurried toward the wildlife area, but another three just hung out in the yard while Trudy chased the others. As soon as Trudy ran them into the brush and turned back, the bunnies followed. Trudy chased, they ran, Trudy came back; they followed. This continued for a while, the rabbits taunting her.
One bunny at a time would come back as if to say, “Chase me! Chase me!” And Trudy would! She eventually lost interest, but one rabbit was relentless. The rabbit approached Trudy; she ignored it. And when Trudy would not chase her, the cottontail darted toward Trudy’s face, crossing directly in front of her nose as if baiting her for the game.
I stood on the front deck, just a few feet from all the activity; the rabbits were not scared, and they allowed me to watch their antics for several minutes.
After some time, all six rabbits returned together coaxing Trudy into playing, but Trudy resigned to the front door, whining to come in.
This story is all true. It’s not just a rabbit tale.
I later envisioned God sitting on His throne, looking down from Heaven, and beholding the domestic and the wild playing together, pleased with what He saw.
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