Monday Evening, Jan. 16, 1871
Dear! Dear! Sallie,
I have just returned from a ride on the prairies. The day is very bright, no wind, and pleasant enough as to temperature. The snow is nearly gone, people out at work, and the frogs are singing their merry vernal hyms of praise, doubtless, though unconsciously, to the great Creator of all things.
While out, I started up a mule-eared rabbit, my first. They are very singular in appearance. This one reminded me of a kid two months old with an old goat’s horns on its head, provided the horns were wider. Its sides and back were of a light yellowish color, its long, broad ears dark, and its tail black. I rode away around to see it better. It jumped up close to me. When I let Bosque out after him, the horse was in for the race and made tolerable time, but could not make the rabbit put both hind feet down at once. They have a way of running with only one hind foot on the ground at once, frequently changing feet, which gives them quite a singular and awkward appearance. At the same time their ears are set forward. Nothing can make them put down both hind feet at once nor make them “lay back” their ears, but the grey hound. Well, a truce to the rabbits, I guess you say. So say I unless I get to chase and catch one. I saw a live deer, too, but twas a tame one.
We look for a strong south wind tomorrow continued till the next Norther. The usual program is one or two, mostly one calm day, and then one or two days of hard cold wind from the south, gradually turning warmer and continuing to blow till the Norther comes, which is sometimes preceded by a very calm and warm day.
You must excuse me from giving the state of my health every day, which is about the same now as it has been since I returned from Hill (County). Confinement is not the best for my digestion but I think I can branch out now for a few days and enjoy myself more.
I sent you an eight page letter to the postoffice for you this morning. Guess you don’t want so much every week.