The Hare, pp.45-46.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

   THIS small quadruped is well known on our table as affording a delicious meat to the palate. His swiftness cannot save him from the search of his enemies, among whom man is the most inveterate. Unarmed and fearful, the Hare sleeps with open eyes, if he sleeps at all, and against the ridge of a furrow, unsheltered by any thing, that he may hear or see his foe soon enough to flee from him. His hind legs are longer than his fore legs, to enable him to run up hills; his eyes are so prominently jutting out of his head, that they can encompass at once the whole horizon of the plain where he has chosen his form, and his ears so long that the least noise cannot escape him. He seldom outlives his seventh year, and breeds plentifully. His flesh is dark, but of a delightful taste; naturally wild and timorous, he may, however, be tamed and taught several little tricks which are often the amusement of the vulgar. – The following lines are elegantly descriptive of what this innocent animal must feel when hunted in the plain: 

“— and who can tell what pangs, 

What dreadful achs her throbbing bosom tear, 

When, at her heels, the yelping pack of hounds, 

Thro’ brakes, thro’ hedges, open lawns and dales, 

Presses on her th’ insequent death! – She runs, 

She flies, and leaps, and bounces to deceive 

The scent-inhaling foes, who urge the chace 

And toil to catch a booty not their own. 

The dales, the lawns, she crosses back in vain, 

Till fainting – breathless – spent – at last she drops 

On some fresh verdant turf or thymy bank 

Once the fair scene of her nocturnal sports.” 


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