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Rabbit rabbit
Sitting on the machair at the top of Bernera watching rabbits. There is a beach of white sand. A turquoise and indigo sea. Small hilly islands off shore and, among the rocks in the bay, an urn like object rising from the waves. It looks tropical. Exotic.
Round the corner a burn crosses the beach to the sea. Tucked in a fold of land it has created are the remains of an iron age village. Sheltered from the weather and any passing shiploads of marauders.
The rabbits would have been appreciated. Meat, fur, bone. Food, clothes, tools, ornament. But, by the time the rabbits came, the villagers had been gone for a thousand years. And anyway they had cows, sheep, pigs, deer and fish. Middens full of shellfish. And there were a lot more trees around than now. They would have known every plant and its uses. Every season, every change, however tiny. A small world but understood in depth.
Now tourists pass through. They admire the remains and the view. Watch the rabbits whose place it has become. The rabbits who know every nook and cranny. Are familiar with every detail. Because the land gives them life as it did the villagers.
Later I discover it isn't an urn at Bosta beach but a Time and Tide bell. It marks the rise and fall of the sea, ringing at high tide when the water moves the clapper. As levels rise with climate change the bell will ring more often. I wonder if the tourists and the rabbits will be listening.

Machair.....A distinctive type of coastal grassland found in the north and west of Scotland and in Western Ireland

Burn.... A stream

Midden....An old word for a rubbish tip used by archaeologists but still in common use in Scotland.






Their hind legs tossing,
rabbits run on the machair,
playing last across.

2 comments

Rabbitroundtheworld said:

Rabbit sends greeting to the listening, watching, running rabbits of Bernera.
9 years ago

Janet Brien said:

WONDERFUL!!! What a pleasant way to enjoy my lunch dessert while reading this story about the bun-buns and this wild, beautiful place! I could look around in my mind's eye and feel the breeze and watch the buns! I liked the history lesson, my how times do change. Fascinating to read about the time and tide bell, I've never heard of such a thing! Thank you also for the definitions of the terms I wasn't familiar with, I appreciate learning about new things, so that was very nice!

Once again, an awesome story, just great! :)
9 years ago