Ghosts of Max Gate: the hare

white hareOne night in June, the 21st to be precise, the hare rested awhile by the red brick wall of the kitchen. Having enjoyed a hearty supper of carrot tops, he was surveying his territory in the kitchen garden with a great deal of satisfaction. He thought this to be the most welcoming place in Dorset for Mr Hardy gave strict instructions that no traps were to be laid against animals or birds. Further, even though the moonlight illuminated his white coat, and made no secret of his location by the old stone roller (which, inadvertently, Bertie had left out), the hare knew that no-one could see him. Not that there was anyone else to notice, apart from the others.

The others, their white robes also lit by the solstice moon, were currently grouped by the Sarsen stones. Year after year, the same faceless shapes appeared on Maiden Castle, at Maumbury Rings and here in the ancient circle. They performed their chants and silently disappeared again from whence they had come. When they had gone, the hare hopped over to the circle on the lawn that he knew to be a darker shade of green than the rest. Bending his neck back slightly, he stared up at the moon to pay his own homage.

His evening’s work over, he made his way down the grassy path on which were strewn a number of carnation heads. The hare ignored this free meal, wryly remembering the last time he’d been greedy enough to help himself. As he turned towards Came Woods, a late breeze lifted a scrap of newspaper onto the path. The date was clearly visible – 21st June 2013. The hare took no notice being, as he was, unable to read.

(picture by Catherine Hyde)

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