Yesterday I arrived home to hear a fierce battle being played out in the garden bed. Behind the lattice Bobcat had a full grown rabbit cornered against the kitchen wall, its pelt slicked with her attempts to kill it. Bobcat in her day was capable of bringing down bushrats the size of small kelpies in the plague of 2006, leaving them on Bob's living room rug with their throats torn out - but in her autumn years she tends to hunt baby rabbits and small mice.
So an adult rabbit was a strange prey - until I saw its puffed, reddened eyes closed shut. Blinded, skinny and cornered, this myxied creature was mere days away from death before Bobcat found her torture toy. So I ran to get the axe.
And of course, while holding the axe to knock the rabbit on the head and 'euthenase' it, my brain told my muscles to mutiny against a decisive blow. You know that killer blow. You have to swing straight and quick. You can't hesitate and do it half-arsed.
Before I could steel myself proper, the rabbit ran along the wall and out into the yard, turning this way and that, trying to find some shelter. Although it couldn't see me running after it with an axe, it could hear my footsteps and, far from being cornered anymore, scrambled for open grass and took off.
Agh. It ran across the grass towards the neighbour's white picket fence. The neighbours also have a white picket gate, a golfing green, bitumen driveway and another white picket fence around the house's veranda to keep their white picket golden retriever behind.
By then I was at our woodpile and the rabbit was heading for the neighbour's fence with a sick, gumpy, spiralling gait. I was still running and weilding the axe when I saw the neighbour's daughters. Two lovely, flaxen haired little girls, about eight or nine. They waved to me. I put down the axe and waved back. The rabbit squeezed through the white picket fence. I leaned the axe against the wood heap and went home to make a cup of tea.