Country diary: you won’t beat the hare at hide and seek


Sandy, Bedfordshire: Even at a distance, this wily animal senses our movement before we see it, and signals that any chase would be futile

Those games we play in the fields of “is it a hare or a clod of earth?” are fast disappearing into the lengthening grass. The green growth that lapped over hare toes, then rose past thighs, is rising still, for no one cuts these blades of barley or wheat.

The animals that ran off the winter in open country were impelled by hormones into fractious sociability in early spring. On the last day of March, we spotted 18 hares and two undetermined lumps in five minutes. Now they have reverted to their habitual natures in solitary, and in a kind of confinement.

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