There's a gap in a fence that I climb through, sometimes, to get to the fields; I went there today only to find that it'd been blocked up. Fair enough, there are cows in the fields and the farmer who owns the land doesn't want them to escape; of course he's going to block up gaps in the fence. This is the rational thing to think; I didn't much bother this rational chain of thought today, however, I chased down mental pathways of a different kind: I found myself worrying about being in good favour with the man on whose land I hunt. I only have one 'permission' to hunt on anyone's land and losing it would be, as they say, a major bummer, since I'd have to trawl round the local landowners again, cap in hand, and, in truth, it's not something I much fancy doing. I was worrying about whether my using this way into to his field constituted a form of disrespect to his property and, in a way, I decided, I does: it's a slightly cheeky short cut, not using a gate or a stile and, if I was habitually more inclined towards doing things in an upright fashion - which, sadly, I have to admit that I'm not - I wouldn't have dreamt of using in the first place. So I was worrying about this - feeling a bit shame-faced - at the same time as trying to hunt for rabbits.
I crouched and crawled my way to within twenty-odd yards of one fairly quickly, took careful aim - not wanting to snatch at the shot - and royally missed it: it bounded away and I watched as the message spread to its sunbathing brethren along the line of the fence who all, one by one, returned to their burrows. I reloaded and lay there for ages, hoping for forgetfulness on the part of the animals - but none came: stillness reigned.
I got up and plodded on. I glimpsed another rabbit and started, in a fairly morose and uncommitted fashion, to crawl closer: it spotted me and fled. I repeated this cycle - spot a rabbit, stalk badly, watch it scarper, slump - twice more. Then I lay prostrate by a motionless burrow for another seemingly endless span of time.
Soused with gloom by then, I gave up and trudged home. After putting the kettle on and watching it boil I decided that - more than tea - cheap wine, strong pipe tobacco and some blogging was what was called for.
Tomorrow - after the emptiness and waiting without hope that is Holy Saturday - is Easter Sunday. I wish all the blessings of the Easter Season - as well as good spirits and good hunting - upon all those who chance across this page.