Tuesday, April 28, 2020

I Am An Irish Setter

"A setter silently searches for game by scent; hunting is done systematically and methodically. When prey is encountered the dog freezes rather than chasing after the game. Setters get their name for their distinctive stance, a sort of crouch or "set" upon finding their quarry." 

I'm out in the fresh air, enjoying my afternoon walk.
I come upon a green open space.

It's familiar.


Suddenly, I stop.

My feet freeze in mid-step.
My brain tingles.
My heart beats with excitement and readiness..


I attune my ears to the slightest whisper.
I breathe in deep drafts of air, sifting through the variety of scents nearby. 
I scan the grayscape of the meadow, searching for a particular shape and size.

Perhaps it is all these things taken together, or maybe it's the glint of sunlight reflected in the huge dark pupil, but all of a sudden, I know.


There's a rabbit out there. 

But this is a sort of knowingness that feels different. Not like the other things I know, like where my treats are stored, or when it's time for a nap.

This is beyond knowing. My brain pulses with deep currents; my body is driven by ancient energies.

I do not think. I simply act. 


I am frozen in place, my eyes locked on the target, my muscles tensed and every so slightly quivering. My heartbeat slows to a barely perceptible hum.


There is nothing in the world but me and the rabbit. 


I wait. Still. Silent. Satisfied in every cell of my body to simply stand in rapt attention and watch my quarry. 

I have no desire to chase or catch the rabbit. I only desire to watch, to breathe in the bunny's essence, to vibrate with the sheer delight of seeing it. 


Slowly, subtly, as my body instructs, I step forward, one paw at a time, towards the rabbit. 

Only my paws move. Every other part of my body remains smooth, supple, fluid. I flow forward like a silent red river, inch by careful inch. 

Sometimes the rabbit will notice me from a considerable distance. Other times, I creep quite close.

But sooner or later, the rabbit will sense danger. In a flash, it darts into the undergrowth, little white tail bobbing along as a last treat to my eyes.

The spell is broken. I come back to myself, no sense of time having passed, not even sure exactly what happened. I'm perfectly happy to bounce back into step and carry on with my walk.

Bumpety bump bump.
Bumpety bump bump.
Bumpety bump bump. 

Until I come again to another open green space, and find another rabbit.


Or, as it happened today, I find two. 

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