"Marissa! You’d better come back inside!" Bobbin called to her, but Marissa was enjoying the fresh air and morning sun too much to pay attention.
After a long wait, she answered back, "If I have to, Bobbin," But just as she turned around, a loud rumbling overpowered her voice and shook the ground. It was the sound of the bulldozer, but it was far away; Marissa had plenty of time to get back inside.
But the bulldozer didn't stand still for long. The operator insisted that he drive it back and forth, being an older machine. Moving forward, he drove the machine further away from Marissa. She was frightened, and tried to listen to what Bobbin was yelling. She focused on him as she ran toward the burrow. For some reason, the bulldozer was suddenly sounding like it was getting closer, which made Marissa run faster through the grass and rocks.
"I told him not to back up too far!" Laura exclaimed loudly to Jack, trying to speak over the dozer's noise.
"It's all open back there - he's not gonna hit anything!" Jack yelled back.
Laura didn't trust him, and had to glance back there for herself. Suddenly, she ran right into the path of the reversing bulldozer. Jack noticed a second afterward and immediately followed. Laura kept running.
"Marissa!" Bobbin called out. But she couldn't hear him. And it wasn't the sound of the bulldozer that silenced Bobbin. Marissa was lying on the ground motionless.
"Laura!" Jack called her name as he ran after her, but she still didn't stop. But Jack almost stopped short when he saw Laura kneel on the ground right as the bulldozer approached her. "Laura, my God!"
Jack exclaimed as Laura looked up and didn’t realize it was so close. She got up to run, not knowing if she’d have time or not to get away safely, when Jack dove toward her and the two of them tumbled out of the bulldozer’s path.
"Jack!" All she could say was his name as he quickly stood up after realizing he was lying on top of her. Laura remained on the ground with her arms curled underneath her and she was looking downward. Jack knelt down beside her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
"Laura, it’s all right! You’re all right! Look at me!" Jack lifted up her chin, turning her head toward him, to try to get Laura to focus on him. "What the hell were you doing?"
"I’m okay…I’m okay, Jack," Laura said slowly. She looked down again. She loosened her arms, and revealed Marissa. "But she’s hurt. I saw her. I couldn’t just leave her there." Marissa could barely move and her eyes were closed; she was hardly aware that she was in the arms of a human. "Thanks, Jack," Laura whispered.
"I risked my life for a rabbit?" Jack questioned, sounding disappointed in Laura for attempting to rescue Marissa in the first place.
Laura had lost what little faith she had just acquired in Jack with that comment and replied, "Well, if it makes you feel any better, you did rescue me, too, remember? Besides, it wasn’t just for one rabbit. Can’t you see she’s…?"
"Oh, not again, Laura," Jack rolled his eyes. "It’s just an ordinary rabbit - it’s not some magical animal that’s gonna save its fellow creatures with its powers!"
Laura just stared at Jack, and wondered why he would express such an uncalled-for display of ignorance. "That was low, even for you, Jack." She stood up slowly, cradling Marissa, who was still not moving. "Don’t you know a pregnant rabbit when you see one? What kind of a game warden are you? God, what did you think I meant?" she asked angrily as they walked back to Jack’s office.
As Laura passed the bulldozer, the operator jumped out of his seat to explain what had happened. "I’m sorry, Ms. Holling. I didn’t know you were going to do that! What made you run back there? I don’t…"
"Just never mind! I’m okay! Just be more careful," Laura said dryly to him. Then she looked down at poor Marissa, now shivering in her arms. "I’m not just worried about myself. I want all of you guys and these machines out of here by noon. If you’re not done testing by then, it’s too bad. And I will fax you copies of the grant." With that, she turned away from him and started walking again. "And this time, keep it in drive!" she yelled back as she left.
Bobbin and Aunt Maddie were watching Jack and Laura walk away, too. In seconds, Marissa had disappeared, and neither of them could have done anything to prevent it. They didn’t even know if she was alive. Bobbin could barely speak; he just watched helplessly as Marissa was carried away. Maddie nuzzled Bobbin, getting his attention. "It’s not your fault, Bobbin," she whispered. "She wanted to go."
Bobbin was so upset, he didn’t realize what he was saying. "Don’t even think it was her fault, Maddie. It’s them! It’s only them!" Bobbin’s voice was straining and he shook his head when he directed the blame to construction machines and the humans who ran them. And now Marissa was in their hands; Laura’s hands, which Bobbin and Maddie had to pray they could trust. However, as far as they knew, Marissa’s life was in Jack’s hands as well.
from chapter 6 - "Good Hands"