Perhaps 'fear' is too strong a word, maybe 'wariness' is better, but poor old rabbits can never relax can they?
At present the sides of our Lane are full of rabbits - rabbits in the cow parsley conjures up a lovely image and indeed these are baby rabbits, small enough to fit in your hand, tiny bobtails, pretty little ears and SO very cuddly.
But absolutely everything is a threat to them for the whole of their lives (and especially while they are so small). Jackdaws and Magpies can easily get down into the nest if it is too shallow, and pick off those babies one by one (for make no mistake, once they have found one baby they will be back). Stoats and weasels can reach the nest however deep underground it is, and stoats and weasels have their own young to feed - easy meat. The fox will be round at dusk and he knows every rabbit hole, so is on the lookout for a rabbit that is tardy getting back to its burrow. The farm cats seem to exist on baby rabbits at this time of the year, rarely eating the food that is put down (they leave that for the hedgehogs). And last but by no means least, there is the threat of man. It is said that ten adult rabbits can eat as much grass as one cow, so small wonder that the farmer is liable to wander round at dusk with his gun.
And so these adorable babies seem to loiter along the sides of the Lane in the long grass and the cow parsley. It must seem like a forest to them and perhaps they feel safe there. But why do they have to run across the road in front of the occasional traffic? This morning, while driving up the Lane, ten babies hopped across in front of me - I slowed down and missed them all, but a lot of drivers wouldn't bother. Rabbits are expendable and there are plenty more to take their place.
What must it be like to spend life on the edge.