Spring came as a sudden burst. One day it was bitterly cold, darkness was everywhere—and the next the air was fresh and warm, and the wind carried with it the promise of new life.
Leaving the north was the hardest thing Nin ever had to do. It was a worse suffering than the winter he’d just endured. For, sometime amid the frigid nights and pure-white days, he’d fallen in love with the arctic hare.
He had fallen in love, and that is why he had to leave. He knew he had to leave, or he’d become stuck. If he stayed and confessed his feelings and had them returned, he’d become an ordinary rabbit—a content rabbit.
And a content rabbit cannot progress.
Worse still, in some small petty part of his heart, he was afraid that if the arctic hare came to love him as he did her, then she too would become an ordinary rabbit. This was the truly intolerable part of it all; he felt his love would diminish her in some regard.
A foolish belief, but one that festered in the back of his mind.
As Nin hopped south, as he passed the shrinking ice flows and the scattered meek patches of new-bloomed green, he briefly considered taking a vow of chastity, to never love again. But he quickly realized there was no need.
The arctic hare would remain the one and only love of his life.