Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mother Rabbit and Mother Fox


For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Romans 8:22

This is not the folksy story of Uncle Remus, with rabbits in aprons and foxes wearing granny glasses and dust caps, but the truth of a highjacked and bloody world after the Fall.

Mother Rabbit pulled fur from her chest and made a snug little nest for her babies. They were yet blind and helpless as Mother Fox left her young in a den to hunt for food. She approached the rabbit nest down wind and was thus undetected.

A young lad was viewing the scene with his new rifle, a single shot .22 Magnum with a 4X Redfield scope. His father had given him the gun as a pre-Christmas gift, because the boy had helped out so much with their small farm. He showed the boy how to zero his gun in by firing only three shots.

The lad began to blow his distressed animal call, imitating the sound of a wounded rabbit. He was startled to see Mother Fox emerge from the tall grass in response to his call. She stood still for a moment, sniffing the wind.

The boy's father had taught him how to shoot, using the old Army acronym of BRASS. Breathe--relax--aim--slack--shoot. So his son lined up his scope on Mother Fox's chest and squeezed off a shot.

The slug penetrated her thin shoulder blade and took out her lungs. She jumped convulsively and fell to the ground, dying. Soon the exultant boy would take his trophy home and skin her, covering her discarded little body with a few shovelfuls of soil.

In the den, the little foxes waited for their mother to return with food for them. She never would. Their bright eyes would dim as they slowly weakened with hunger. Far too young to hunt, they were helpless. Without their mother they would soon starve.

Mother Rabbit's babies were safe for now. Someone else had died, and her young ones too.

Stand back and admire Nature, but do not look too closely. For the struggle against death never ceases. Until the blessed day, described in Isaiah chapter 11, brings in the Peaceable Kingdom, the tragic fight will go on. Some will die that others may live. Finally all will die. None of the little creatures will die of old age.

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