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After working on the wagon all day with Haven and finishing the evening chores, Robert and Pinky lie in the purple clover high on the ridge to the north of the Peck house. Robert pulls the flower shoots out of some of the ripe clover and sucks on them, enjoying their sugary nectar. He tries to get Pinky to try some, but she will not.
A hawk circling high overhead catches Robert's attention. He watches in awe of the beauty of the scene, as the hawk circles higher and higher with the orange clouds of sunset in the background. Just as the hawk is about to disappear into the sunset, it stops and plunges into a dive, heading straight for the area where Robert and Pinky are lying out. Robert knows that the hawk won't bother them, and seeing that the hawk is going too fast to stop, he gets up to see what it hits. The hawk plunges to the ground behind a small juniper bush and plunges its talons into something about its own its size. Whatever it is, it tries to get away and drags the hawk into the juniper bush, but Robert knows that all the hawk has to do is hold on and the battle will be over soon. A cry rings out and Robert recognizes it immediately as the death cry of a rabbit. "It's the only cry a rabbit makes its whole life long," Robert says, "just that one death cry and it's all over."
The rabbit stops struggling, and the hawk stands over its prey resting. Robert slowly creeps forward to get a better look, but he only makes it three steps before the hawk takes off with the rabbit in its claws. Robert chases it, trying to get an idea where the hawk's nest might be, but the hawk disappears over a hilltop.
The thought of the hawk's rabbit dinner makes Robert hungry, and he thinks about how well Mrs. Peck cooks rabbit. "There wasn't one mighty thing that either Papa or me could rifle that Mama couldn't put in the pot," he reminisces. Robert wonders to himself whether or not Pinky would like rabbit and concludes that of course she would, being a meat eater and all.
Pinky eats well. Robert feeds her as much corn, wheat, barley, rye, oats, and sorghum as he can get as well as an occasional taste of milk, fish, soybean meal, and alfalfa. On top of that, Pinky drinks ten pounds of water each day. Robert keeps a ledger of how much food Pinky eats and calculates that for every three hundred and fifty pounds of food she eats, she gains about one hundred pounds.
Robert talks to Pinky about how good a life she has, with a nice corn cratch for a home, plenty of mud in which to play, and straw on which to sleep. Pinky snorts, and Robert takes it as a thank you. And then he tells her how he plans to save her from becoming food by breeding her with Mr. Tanner's boar and making her into a brood sow. "The first litter ought to be eight, and after that ten," Robert explains. Pinky, not particularly interested in all this talk about motherhood, moves away and chases a bee.
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