CHASE THE RABBITS

CHASE THE RABBITS

Rake that hay. Lift that bale. Get a little slow and your dad will wail…. Haying season made a boy feel like a character in an Oscar Hammerstein river song. It was monotonous, itchy and sweaty work. Any diversion was welcomed, and that’s how I grew to appreciate jackrabbits. White-tailed jackrabbits represented freedom. They pranced across our alfalfa fields like dancers on a stage, floating and flying and leaping with joy. If Dad wasn’t watching, we sometimes jumped in the pickup and gave chase.

Jacks can run 40 miles per hour and change direction in stride. Our six cylinder farm truck couldn’t do either, but we enjoyed the game and I think they did, too. They zig-zagged across the field, daring us to catch them. If we spooked a jack while we were afoot, we tried to stop it by whistling. If the hare heard, it would brake to a halt and stand erect with its long ears straight up. Then we’d point an imaginary gun at it and consider it a victory. He don’t plant ’taters, he don’t plant cotton, ’cause them that plants them is soon forgotten, that ol’ jackrabbit, he just keeps racing along.