I'd taken another shot about half an hour earlier and, though I'd seen the rabbit leap into the air and disappear from my sight in the scope, I hadn't been able to tell if it had jumped because of the noise of the rifle or because it had been hit. I climbed out of my cover behind a bank of nettles and scoured the field. I found plenty of dried cow pats in the grass but I didn't find a rabbit. I must have missed and it had scarpered.
So this time I just lay there and looked around. Further down the fence-line I could see three or four reddish-brown, long-eared heads peeking out and looking around but I couldn't see anything at all where the rabbit at which I'd fired had been. I assumed that I'd missed again. I went back to gazing across the field at the patterns that the sun was making in the grass - deep, wonderful greens criss-crossed with bands of shade and everywhere dotted with buttercups and the seed-heads of countless, gently-waving dandelions.
Quite happy, I got up after twenty minutes of dreamy dozing and decided that before I walked home I'd have a quick check up the field where I'd fired. To my surprise, I found a freshly-killed rabbit.