Saturday, June 25, 2011

acquired skill

Grading a road is an acquired skill. My father spent many a long and bumpy day ploughing snow, winging shoulders and grading highways, byways and side roads.
All the roads around Blue River were gravel or dirt, and weather and wheels were not kind to them.
Remote as that town was, strangers passing through on their way to "somewhere" would find themselves sticking like a burr to a sock before life tugged them onward.
They would take whatever work they could turn their hand to.
Bob Underhill of motorcycle racing fame was one such vagabond.
Somehow, he ended up in a grader high on a dusty mountain road.
These were dangerous roads.
I'm sure he was warned to watch for logging trucks.
And I'm sure steep banks would have been mentioned too.
It's a pity no one thought to mention rabbits.
As the novice grader driver rounded a curve, a baby rabbit froze in the middle of the narrow gravel road.
Bob Underhill sealed his fate and drove, or rather, crashed over the embankment imperilling his life, the grader, and the mental health and blood pressure of his foreman.
He eventually stood in our doorway and opened his lunch box. To our surprise and delight, a brown baby bunny gazed blandly back at us.
It was given the run of the house for a time, hopping and darting and hiding, especially at night. I woke once to find moonlight glowing on my bed, the rabbit pausing on my pillow mid-leap.
Raising rabbits is an acquired skill and one my mother had no interest in perfecting and so our rabbit was encouraged to return to wild ways in the wild woods, far beyond highway and byway and side road.

2 comments:

Ken M said...

On the narrow, winding road from Clearwater to Wells Gray Park, drivers have to beware of road cougars. They are a menace and have forced many vehicles, including large RVs, right off the road, much to the delight of local tow truck owners. "Road Cougars", you ask. AKA chipmunks darting across the road causing drivers to swerve to miss them and drive right off the road. Powerful little critters!

Glenda said...

Thank you, thank you. I gave a shriek of laughter when I read your comment. How funny.