Book Review: The Private Life of the Hare by John Lewis-Stempel

Hares are without doubt my favourite animal. I never fail to smile if I’m lucky enough to see one when we’re out cycling, running or walking. Unfortunately they are becoming rarer and rarer due to a number of reasons.

The Private Life of the Hare is one of a series of books by John Lewis-Stempel who is a farmer and nature lover. It isn’t a long book but it fascinating. It includes the history and breeds of hares found in the UK, along with numerous poems and sayings; Fast as a Hare being one of the best. Hundreds of years ago hares were considered a pest because of their huge appetite and because there were millions of them.

‘To see a hare sit still as stone, to watch a hare boxing on a frosty March morning, to witness a hare bolt . . . these are great things. Every field should have a hare.’

Hares are also incredibly hardy creatures. Unlike rabbits they don’t have burrows, instead they find a shallow hollow to sleep in, even in the coldest of weathers. The book also talks about the myths of hares, and how they are often thought to be witches.

My lovely wife knows of my love for hares and bought this book for me as a surprise, just because she loves me. I have the best life ever. Anyway, I gave this book 4 out of 5 on Goodreads, but then I love hares.

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