There was a headless bunny at the end of our neighbor’s driveway last week. We saw it, Ranger and me, on at least two of our walks. On the first walk Ranger found it. He smelled it from half a block away and insisted we walk in that direction, instead of our usual path north from our house.

It was Ranger’s best kind of dead bunny,the kind that had attracted a good number of flies feeding on its fluffy backside. I wondered what kind of predator would take the head and leave the rest, the best parts, sitting at the end of a driveway. Ranger would not have left it if I hadn’t braced myself against his leash and told him to, “Leave it,” in my loudest, “Momma’s the boss of you,” voice.

On the second day I knew to watch for it. I wondered why the neighbor had not seen it to pick it up. I imagined Mollie and Maggie, the huskies across the street, had sat at the end of their driveway, looking through the wooden slats of their fence, sniffing its deliciousness and tilting their heads at the mystery of it, maybe even one of them talking to it, once or twice, in her girly, howly voice.

I imagined the nasty little brown Spaniel and the grumpy Bichon, those dogs who growl and snap at Ranger when we pass them on the street, pulling their owners behind them, crossing to the other side, turning up their delicate noses at headless bunny, like some doggy reenactment of the Pharisees stepping over the robbers’ victim on the road to Jericho, but with a victim beyond repair and no doggy Samaritan to patch its wounds.

Except maybe Ranger, who would have gladly played Samaritan to headless bunny, who would have, if I had let him, gobble him down in three or four bites, flies and all, put him out of his misery, conveniently clean the street of him, save the neighbor the task of picking headless bunny up with a shovel and carrying him to the garbage can.

And even though I pulled Ranger to the side, spoiling his allegorical intent, I can picture it all in my head, just as clearly as if it had happened.

This morning, as I sit and recall it, grace is a canine passion play, minus the tapeworms. And the Holy Spirit is right here, laughing.

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Grace is a Canine Passion Play

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