Double Standards

Cycling back from the shop this morning I nearly ran over a leveret,* which had decided to sit on the road and nibble at the grass of the verge. I only spotted it at the very last minute as my wheels passed inches away from its tail. Given that a hare’s instinct when threatened is to sit tight and that its greyish-brown coat made it blend very nicely with the muddy tarmac, I could see this wasn’t going to end well. Which was how I found myself taking part in the world’s slowest chase scene, as I tried to persuade the youngster to seek safety away from the road and it kept returning to the tarmac. I didn’t want to chase it too far as its mother would no doubt be coming back for it but finally we compromised on it going up and sitting on a stone by the wall and me leaving it alone. Undoubtedly the minute the scary bicycle monster was gone it went straight back to the road but I had at least done what I could.

These things never happen when you’ve got your camera with you, do they? Still it’s one more reason why I avoid driving: in a car, the first thing I’d have known about it would be when I scraped it off my wheel.

*I’m fully aware that I’m completely inconsistent on the subject of hares vs rabbits, but at least I am consistent in that even when the hares are eating my garden, I’d still rather have them than not. Call me speciesist, but that’s the way it is…

9 Responses to Double Standards

  1. Jo says:

    I nearly had to scrape a wood pigeon off the front wheel of my bike this afternoon. It looked up, saw me coming …. and stayed put. I, assuming that it would move, didn’t slow down very much. Well, not at all, really.

    In the most ridiculous game of chicken, it waited until the very last second (which is about the time that it dawned me that braking might be a good idea) and then flew off in a huff, accompanied by me bellowing at it, calling all sorts of names.

  2. disgruntled says:

    Pigeons are terrible for that. When I was cycling in London I lived in constant terror of a pigeon leaving it too late and either flying up into my face or leaving me cycling through a cloud of manky Trafalgar Square pigeon feathers. At least yours was a nice clean rural woodpigeon…

  3. Jo says:

    I think hitting a rat would be preferable to one of their feathered relatives. Gah.

  4. disgruntled says:

    you’d have to try a *lot* harder to hit a rat, frankly

  5. Andy in Germany says:

    One of the things I really dread is hitting anything with the Bakfiets: The bike weighs 20 kilograms empty and I’m *cough* kilograms more so it’d make a heck of a mess of anything small and furry.

    • Stonehead says:

      We hit a cat with the Kangaroo bike: 40kg of bike, 50kg of boys, 85kg of me and 20kg of groceries. Fortunately, it was only a glancing blow but it was enough to send the cat flying.

  6. The Paper Boy says:

    Are you sure you’re not living on the set of “Local Hero”? You’ll be telling us that you took home an injured rabbit next.

  7. disgruntled says:

    Andy – even so with narrower wheels you’re much less likely to hit anything (although I do find wildlife is less likely to get out of the way because of the lack of engine noise)
    PB- injured hare, maybe. Not a rabbit.

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