Animal Dilemmas – Lizard Rabbit
The Rabbit was very hungry. Starving in fact, after fear and unwelcome excitement had burned every single calorie and most of its fat reserves. Chewing the bitter grass prevented it from thinking the past events over. So the Rabbit ate and leaped around aimless, vaguely guided by a quest for better grass. It chewed and chewed jaded, unaware of time and space.
It eventually reached a clearing in the forest, a small patch of treeless land where the sun was able to reach the lower layers of vegetation. So the grass was rife. The Rabbit was fundamentally aware of the danger of open spaces but in its condition this basic instinct was dulled.
It feasted on the wide leaved grass gravitating to the center of the clearing. Its nose distinguished two brand new smells. One was clear and visible, a polished black marble boulder.
The boulder was far away from home and have reached this final resting place through fire and war. But the Rabbit had no way of perceiving that. Or perhaps it did because it froze wide-eyed and alert. But what seemed to affect it was the darkness, the sheer blackness of the boulder, which filled most of the foreground of its vision.
The Rabbit’s dormant fear was motivated again to come in the open. The only reason the Rabbit didn’t leap back was that the best grass grew around the rock. As if fertilized by the universe itself. Giant leaves filled with ripe and juicy green goodness. And taste had grown to matter to the Rabbit within the past few hours.
The other smell was unfamiliar and sourced from the green spot on the rock. The Rabbit focused on it and approached with caution.
The green spot was a lizard. It was larger than average and has made the one of kind marble rock into its home. Inspired by its uniqueness and cosmic powers, it was ready to defend its territory to the death. Like it had previously done against other lizards, mice, raccoons, a baby fox and a deer. Although the lizard didn’t know that the deer ran away because of unrelated rumble in the bushes.
So the lizard was by fate and accident gifted with courage beyond its physical abilities.
The Rabbit had never seen a lizard before, and stuffed with grass as it was, acted merely silly. Some well-ordered string of events have led it to believe that the closer the leaves were to the boulder the more delicious they were. So the still green blotch on the rock was a caprice. A caprice inspired by a long day and events thousands of years old.
The Rabbit advanced until the lizard moved, aligning with its direction. The Rabbit was about to see it from really close.
The lizard reacted to the trespasser by bravely leaping over the Rabbit’s head from the height of the rock hissing his most horrible hiss. The Rabbit didn’t have time to react, slowed by fatigue and digestion. So the lizard’s well-aimed claws plunged right into its eyes. The Rabbit shook it off with un-rabbit like strength but the damage was done. Both its eyes were pierced by accident or by design.
The Rabbit was blind. It could not see, it could not cry. His eyes were nothing more but a source of paralyzing pain. So the Rabbit gave in on it. It relaxed its muscles, lay on the grass and enjoyed the darkness. It could not fall asleep because of the initial pain. But it could hear and smell with intensified sensitivity.
Its perspective had forever changed.
After doing its worse and biting off the head of the Rabbit, the lizard bounced off the grass, regrouped and hid under the rock in a shelter it had dug up specifically for tactical retreats in critical assaults. The rock was above the lizard with all its might and smooth surface.
The rock that had traveled through galaxies, collided with armies of meteors, at least once had battled a comet head on. It had drifted influenced by countless planets’ gravities and absorbed the cosmic rays of many stars, including one supernova moments after it had exploded. And all its perils and collisions had driven it to impact with Earth a couple of thousand years ago. An impact not large enough to had been registered on planetary level. So the cosmic marble had entered a quiet period in its life. However, it still held a secret.
A small secret in itself, in the face of the universe but giant for the lizard. A quarter of a percentage point of its mass was composed of a rare isotope of a radioactive element available nowhere else on earth. The dosage of this element by nature’s design was just right to nurture growth. A few particle more would have killed everything in radius.
That was why the grass was greener and larger around the rock. That was also why the lizard was exceptionally large, courageous and affectionate to this source of power. Just enough micro particles were incarnated in it to make it dream of immortality.
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