Maverick mongrel Mac’s ear were perked up as he scampered through the woods just at sunset, looking for adventure. Suddenly a big, golden hare leaped out of a bush and went hopping off at full speed. Delighted, Mac went after, barking in glee. Chasing rabbits was fun, but this hare was so much bigger, and he’d never seen one that colour before. Surely it promised the best adventure of his young life.
It was not that Mac wanted to kill the Hare – he never killed the rabbits he chased. It was the fun of the chase that he wanted, and this should be a really wild one. Barking joyfully, he raced full tilt after the fleeing Hare as it flashed in and out of sight among the undergrowth. He went racing around a bend in the track the hare was following, and suddenly tried to stop. His feet scrabbled to stop, even as they tried to go backwards, earth and debris spraying out around him. Staring at him from less than the length of his body away was a grinning wolf.
It was big. In Mac’s eyes, it was huge, since he was a small dog, and it was a bluish gray colour, with pale blue eyes that glared down at him. “And where might you be off to in such a hurry?” the wolf growled. There almost seemed to be a faint blue glow around him, and Mac was so scared he could hardly breathe, let alone make a sound. “Not chasing my Hare, are you? That wouldn’t be healthy for you, you know. If anyone is going to kill it, it will be ME!” the last was almost shouted, as the wolf’s head stretched so that his nose almost touched Mac’s.
“Ah…uh…er…I….I was just..just having some fun. I wouldn’t kill it, I just was ch..chasing it. I…I never saw a hare that colour. I..I think it must be magic. I don’t think anyone could kill it.” Mac stared up at the wolf and saw the frown deepen. “Except maybe you, sir!” he panted.
Both heads lifted suddenly as a great crashing sounded, coming toward them. Another beast charged into the path, snarling, teeth bared. Mac and the wolf stared in shock at the creature. It was a bit bigger than Mac, with very sharp teeth, brown fur, and an aggressive attitude.
“That hare is mine!” he snarled.
“That’s what you think!” the wolf growled back. He is mine, and always has been. “You don’t even belong here! Get back to Tasmania, we don’t want any of you devils here. Nothing in our Canadian woods belongs to you.”
Mac slunk back and under a bush; anything to get away from the two very dangerous looking animals. He thought it would turn into a fight at any moment, and he very much did not want to be caught in the middle. He cowered there for a moment as the wolf and the Tasmanian Devil glared at each other, then started padding slowly in a circle. Cautiously, he moved, step by slow step out from under the bush and off along the track. Just as he was rounding a curve, the battle behind him started. The growls, howls, yelps and snarls rose high and loud, and he put on a spurt of speed. Whichever of them won, Mac was sure he would start looking for him, and he wanted to get as far ahead as he could.
The sounds of battle faded behind him, and Mac forgot about it as he spied the hare again. Yelping excitedly, he took off on the chase again, the hare hopping rapidly ahead. At another curve in the track, they came to a river. It was certainly too wide for jumping, yet the hare did just that. I gave a mighty leap and soared over the water, landing safely on the other side. Mac hardly paused, he plunged into the water and swam as fast as he could. He clambered out on the other side, and the hare was sitting on a stump at the top of the bank. Mac raced up the bank and skidded to a stop
“Nice going, Mac,” the hare said, “that was a good workout. And you have destroyed your scent going into the water, so the wold and the devil won’t know where you’ve gone.”
Mac stared in astonishment. “You…you know my name!” he exclaimed. “But I have never seen you before. How can that be? I did? I destroyed my scent? I’m glad of that, I don’t want to meet the winner of that battle. But aren’t you afraid one of them will kill you?”
“I have seen you many times, chasing rabbits, and always letting them go unharmed. I needed a bit of exercise and I thought I’d give you a bit of fun, too. Remember, you said you thought I was magic?” Mac nodded his head. “Well, you’re correct. How else could I have jumped the river? And as for either of those lumbering beasts, there is no way they can catch me. I could have kept you running around all night, if I wanted to. But you’re a nice little fellow, so I thought I’d just have some fun with you. But it’s dark now, and you are a long way from home. If you follow the river that way, you’ll find a bridge, and it’s near the edge of the woods. You should be home before your family begin worrying about you. Thanks for the fun, Mac. Perhaps we will do it again sometime.”
“Oh, thank you sir. I would really like that. Except for the scare, it was a lot of fun. Good night. And thanks again. I do hope I’ll see you again.” With a quick nod of his head, Maverick mongrel Mac set off along the riverbank, grinning at the great night he’d had.