The hare’s life was quite boring. There wasn’t much but grass, other rabbits, and other grass. “What a sad life to live,” he thought. “I’ll never know anything but a reflection of myself. I’ll never see what it’s like to be different, to be elsewhere.”
The hare hopped, and ate, and hopped, and ate. He lived his life safely, not bothered by sickness or predator.
But the monotony that characterized his days was more sickening than stomach cancer and as deadly as a hungry fox.
Hop. Eat. Hop. Eat. So went the life of the hare.
But once, among the hopping and eating, there was something else. Something he didn’t recognize. After all, if it wasn’t hopping or eating, he had no idea what to think. Any deviation from his routine was a sucker punch to his life rhythm. This was very strange, new, and, more than anything, exciting.
The hare heard something he’d never heard before.
Buzzing that shook through his ears and made his spine tremble. Buzzing that could very well have come from a bumble bee that had grown twice its normal size. Or a helicopter that had done the opposite fifteen times over.
The Hare’s head shot up. He looked left, right, up and down, but nothing was found. He combed his small eyes through the branches of the trees and through the grass underneath only to find dull consistency. With no evidence of it ever having been there, the sound was gone. The hare hung his head once again above the green, leafy sameness, and he cried.
It seems that nothing in life changes, and the problems of today live only for tomorrow.
He longed to sulk, to soak in self-pity. But he didn’t. The hare went on with his life the only way he knew how.
Hop. Eat. Hop. Eat. So went the life of the hare.
“Someday,” he thought, “I’ll hear that sound again. I’ll hear that sound, and the blood will rush back to my feet, and I’ll hop and eat without feeling like I’m being ripped off, jipped by cold Mother Nature.” So the hare lived his life with a flicker of hope twinkling in his stomach. Hopping and eating, ever vigilant for that kind disruption. Sustained not by greens and plants, but by maybes, somedays and hopefullys, he lived with happiness near his heals.
Hours passed. Then days. Then weeks. The buzzing hand’t returned, but the hare looked brightly towards the time to come.
Hope, though a fool’s wager, can pay a rich reward.
One day, after many had passed, it came again. Faintly, distantly, finally, again came that explosive hum.
It came nearer and nearer, closing in like sirens to a house fire. The hare searched all around, begging for the buzzing to reveal itself. He heard, but he did not see. It grew louder and louder, and as its volume grew, so too did the hares worry. Louder and louder it grew. Buzzing. Buzzing. But nothing. Nothing was found. Right, left, up and down looked the Hare, but nothing was found.
Silence fell over the trees, and as the leaves grew limp in the absence of breeze, the hare felt defeated. And again, he cried.
But from the corner of his teary eye, he caught something. A sharp red behind one of the leaves. It was still, standing steady and waiting. Then, with that brilliant sound, it flew.
It was a hummingbird. Buzzing back and forth searching for fruitful flowers. Like a bullet, it zipped from branch to branch, unintentionally avoiding the hare’s view.
His tears dried faster than mud in the summer sun, and he hopped near the tree. “This is my chance,” he thought. “This is my chance, finally, to see the world differently.” The hummingbird perched, and he seized his chance.
“Hello!” cried the Hare up to the Hummingbird.
The hummingbird looked down gracefully and said, with a voice like cool water, “Hello.”
The hare had never seen anything like her before. Her small, fragile body. The fire streaks of red on her sides surrounded by smooth green. Her needle point beak and her streamline wings. She was, without a doubt, the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. She sat there, perched, gleaming through the branches, and he stared at her, absorbing the rays of light that he imagined were beaming from her soul.
“Can I come with you?” asked the hare.
“To where?” answered the hummingbird, confused at the abrupt question.
He was puzzled. To him, that answer was obvious. “Everywhere.”
She looked down at him, his small eyes gazing up at her. She didn’t know what her wings and beak and colors made him feel. “I don’t think it can be,” she said, somehow saying it kindly. “I fly, you hop. It is, simply, an impossibility.” The hare hung his head over that green, leafy sameness, and he wanted to cry. But then, she spoke again. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I’ll be back again tomorrow and the day after and the next. I’m sure I’ll see you again, and I’m sure we’ll talk as friends.”
And with those sugary, painful words, the hummingbird flew away.
The hare watched as she grew small in the sky like a pin drowning in a pond. He wasn’t sad or pitiful or heartbroken. He wasn’t feel deflated or frustrated or angry.
He was happy.
Happy that tomorrow and the day after and the next suddenly had something to offer. Happy that that green, leafy sameness would no longer be so sickening. He couldn’t go with her everywhere, that was true. He was a hare, and she was a bird, and that was an unfortunate fact. But seeing her, if only briefly, in the days to came was enough to keep him going. Simply seeing her beauty, her grace, and her light, he thought, was enough. He hopped away with a heart full of hope, ready for the sun to shine in the morning.
It seems that nothing changes in life, and the problems of today live only for tomorrow. But with the proper wager – the volatile, foolish wager – things can change. With hope, sometimes, comes reward. The hare, the happy, hopeful Hare, was willing to risk everything he had. If only to see her for a second out of the corner of his small eye.