My school run has changed from being a stressful and disagreeable event for myself and the small herd to a delightful pleasure. We now leave at a most civilised hour as the journey is traffic and congestion free, besides the odd tractor or milk lorry, we drive past fields, farms and cows, down country lanes. On arrival, there are plenty of parking spaces to choose from, no fumbling around for credit cards or loose change for pay and display as there is none, and, most gratifyingly, no traffic wardens.
We glide into our chosen space vacate the car without panic, older chaps wave goodbye (no kissing just the occasional hug) and smallest chap and I meander into his class chatting to other parents and small people along the way, and all done with calmness.
After the drop off and obligatory chat with teachers, mothers and some fathers about the news and views of the world we all drift off to our next destinations. Today, my first appointment was with a seamstress I had found to make some alterations to an evening dress that is now (hooray) too big. My drive took me along some unfamiliar country lanes and I drove carefully as one never knows what may be lurking around the next corner.
It all happened so quickly that I didn't have time to brake until it was too late. A large rabbit dashed out of hedge at lightening speed, I screeched to a halt unsure of whether we had collided or not. Initially I was too scared to get out to look, but I knew I had to be brave for the sake of the poor rabbit. I swung open the door, hazards on, and slowly inched round to the front of the car, eyes squinted and ready to look away quickly in case of a very nasty mess. Nothing on the drivers side, I moved further round, nothing in the middle or on the passenger side, so I knew I had to look under the car where the poor dead, or even worse injured animal would be, so I crouched down (not actually kneeling for fear of dirtying my new Balenciaga cords) and holding my breath took a look, and there it was crouched under the car trembling, but as far as I could tell uninjured. I was unsure of what to do, and was concerned that if I just drove off and left it another vehicle might come along and crush it, at least under my car it was safe. Whilst this was all going on a car had driven up and was waiting behind me, I hadn't noticed as I was too busy worrying about the rabbit, and in a city I would by now have caused a tailback about a mile long and have horns blowing, people shouting and waving angry fists around, but that sort of behaviour just doesn't happen here, so I was unaware of anyone else being around until I heard the opening of a car door. I tall man approached and asked if I needed assistance, I explained and he said I just need to reverse and the rabbit would hop off, brilliant idea. I did reverse and the rabbit did hop off but not back to the hedge just back under my car. Further discussions took place and we decided we would have to give the rabbit and incentive to move. I pulled a long stick from the ground and pushed it under the car to give the rabbit a little prod to get it to move, and it did but just further back under the car. A couple of more cars arrived and the drivers got out to see what was going on, and we all discussed the best way to deal with the rabbit. A darling old lady came up trumps, I get back in my car and blow my horn, so I did, and how right she was, the gorgeous bunny jumped for its life and made a quick dash back into the hedges and hopefully back down into its warm hole in the ground.
We all drove of waving to each other and as I pulled my Bamford coat around me for warmth it was then I realised that I was probably wearing one, or several, of the rabbit's relations around my neck. No wonder it didn't want to move away from the safety of the underside of my Mini, it didn't want to be added as decoration on my cuffs.