I’m reminded of the song*–[see the title above]–as I swerve and slow down on my way to the market in Realmont, avoiding baby rabbits and several pheasants who are risking their lives coming out on a Wednesday here–of course they don’t know that.
The countryside seems alive with game.
Last week four or five leaping deer–little ones–arched across a field to the safety of a thicket–I’d never seen that here before.
It’s the hunting season again.
Each Sunday and Wednesday the shots ring out–sometimes so close they make me jump.
Two at a time in quick succession from the double barrelled shotguns favoured by the hunters.
“Run rabbit run rabbit run! run! run!”–though it’d be better to hunker down in the burrow, they don’t know any better.
I’ve never seen a hunter with treasure in his pouch, though.
Is it the “thrill of the chase” that keeps them coming out or simply a walk across the fields with their dogs, in the early autumn sunshine?
Perhaps the truth is they’re hunting for a connection with a disappearing past.
Twenty odd years ago, when we were London townies down for the weekend, we’d be woken on Sunday morning by a barrage of gunfire and the barking of gun dogs.
The noise is much diminished these days–and “walnutting” [ my version of “La chasse”!] not such a dangerous Sunday morning sport.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Goes the farmer’s gun.
Run, rabbit, run, rabbit, run.