The winter sun reached the small crevice high on the canyon’s north wall at mid-morning. The bright rays warmed the secure nest in the volcanic rock, and Mountain Hawk began to stir. He listened carefully for any sound out of place, stepped to the ledge, and rose gracefully into the cloudless sky.
With the sun low on his left, Mountain Hawk flew west toward his favorite hunting ground. He followed the canyon of the wolves to the oak groves on the edge of the freshwater marsh. He dove from the east into the shade below the majestic trees, where there would be no shadow to warn his prey. On his fourth dive a marsh mouse looked up, alerted by the rush of air over Mountain Hawk’s wings, only to become the hunter’s meal.
As Mountain Hawk rose skyward, he again turned west, flying over the lake of the newcomers, to the grass field of his friend, Rabbit. Rabbit lived in the reeds at the edge of the lake below a grassy hill.
Mountain Hawk remembered …
… another winter day. A cloudy, windy day. Mountain Hawk had just learned to fly. On that day, he had ventured far from his mother’s nest, and flown to this very field. Trying to remember all he’d been taught, he was slowly circling, looking for any movement in the grass below. A shaft of sunlight had pierced the clouds, and Mountain Hawk was startled by a fast-moving shadow across his face. Instinctively he turned away from the shadow – and Eagle’s talons narrowly missed the back of his neck. But the leading edge of Eagle’s wing struck him hard in the head, and he tumbled, out of control, to the ground.
Something was nudging him, pushing him awkwardly but steadily. Groggy, Mountain Hawk felt himself rolling, tumbling over and over until he sensed the stillness beneath a low bush.
A quiet voice said, “Just rest until he goes away. You’re safe here.”
When he awoke, Mountain Hawk was startled – where was he? Then he remembered Eagle and being pushed under the bush. But who?
“Are you feeling better?” said a strangely familiar voice.
Mountain Hawk whirled around. A young rabbit sat just out of reach, under the bush, watching him carefully.
“Did you push me under this bush?” Mountain Hawk asked.
“Yes, I did.” said Rabbit. “Eagle will find no more to eat in my field today.”
There was a long pause while the two looked at each other intently.
Finally, Mountain Hawk said, “Thank you,” and flew away.
(and the story continues)
copyright H. C. Clitheroe, Jr. 2005
Theme Statement: Fanita Ranch
Fanita Farms will be a community that will sustain and enhance the wellness of residents, the land, food, and natural resources, each of which are equal and important aspects of its identity.
- Fanita Farms will embody the positive characteristics of a “farm”: sensitive, sustained use of the land; independent self-sufficiency; financially feasible production of food products; interdependent social networks; hard work and shared labor; community responsibility; and friendly hospitality.
- Fanita Farms will support the wellness of all those who participate in the community through the provision of appropriate recreation, exercise, food, and healthy lifestyle opportunities.
- Fanita Farms will sensitively incorporate all those who have called this place “home” and the current residents of Santee into its diverse and welcoming community.
- Fanita Farms will be an ecologically and financially sustainable community.
(in consultation with DeLorenzo International, January 2018)