The Crow and the Beanfield
Wed 29th Jul 2009 at 21:52:44
Stretched canvas 12x24” (30x60 cm)

Exhausted after the night in the woods and the crossing of the Enborne, the rabbits lay in the thorn, crouching between the stems. A hedge row in open fields would have not been a safe place to remain all day but most of the rabbits were too tired even to keep awake.
Hazel went out cautiously into the field to smell the wind. There was only one smell, new to him: a strange sweet fragrance filled the air. He decided to find the source. Running up the meadow, past some grazing cows, he saw a crow hopping in the grass. “Not hawk” he thought and carried on to the top, where stood a field of broad beans in full flower: the scent was powerful. He never saw anything similar before. It would have provided a perfect place to sleep all day, covering them in sight and smell.
He went back to the others to bring the good news.
They became widely separated, as they struggled up the slope. Suddenly came a high scream, the sound that a rabbit makes in terror: Fiver and Pipkin, well behind, were being attacked by the crow. Pipkin, who was screaming, buried his head into a clump of rank grass.

Part 1 The Journey
From Chapter 9: The Crow and the Bean Field

By kind permission of Richard Adams

Hazel covered the distance down the slope in a few seconds. He had no idea what he was going to do and if the crow had ignored him he would probably have been at a loss. But by dashing up he distracted its attention and it turned on him. He swerved past it, stopped and, looking back, saw Bigwig come racing in from the opposite side. The crow turned again, struck at Bigwig and missed…
…As Silver followed Bigwig, it recovered itself and faced him squarely. Silver stopped short in fear and the crow seemed to dance before him, its great, black wings flapping in a horrible commotion. It was just about to stab when Bigwig ran straight into it from behind and knocked it sideways
, so that it staggered across the turf with a harsh, raucous cawing of rage…
- Aldo Galli -