Correspondence

Four Deaths and Three Funerals

Letter From Great Britain

It was one in the morning, and my headlights were cutting a tunnel of light above the road through the woods by the Whissonsett turn, when an image suddenly dropped right in front of me like a slide before the lamp of an old-fashioned projector.  It was a hare: not a young, sedentary, Dürer hare, but a full-grown, full-length creature with legs stretched out fore and aft, haring from the overhanging darkness on my left to the symmetrical nothingness on my right, and hanging for a fraction of a second in mid-air—a moment in which I had time to exult in his elegance and to fear for his safety, but not to move my foot from the accelerator to the brake.  I struck him full on.  A thud and a pitiful crunching of bones and he was behind me, his beauty as irrecoverably broken as if it had indeed been etched upon glass.

There has been a lot of death in my life recently.  I hit that hare on the way back from the third funeral I had attended in a month.  The first had been of an Anglican friend in his early 50’s, who had been laid to rest in the churchyard of his Norfolk village with the order of service set down in Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer.  As the coffin was brought into the perpendicular Gothic church, the parson read the appointed text: “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here

X