Two Hundred Eighty-Six

Leaning over the deck railing, I felt as if I might lose my balance and tumble twenty feet to the rocks and shrubbery below, so I stood upright and stepped back. Then, I heard it again; a loud rustling, the sound I might make if I trudged through the heavy layer of leaves at the edge of the clearing below. I look down again, this time clutching the top railing with my hands to keep myself an arm’s length from the edge. There they were; two deer, heads down, foraging for breakfast. The second I spied them, they saw me. They froze in their tracks, staring intently at me. I remained still. In less than a minute, satisfied I posed no danger, they returned to the task of finding food. But they did not ignore me; they kept watch over my actions, ready to sprint away if my behavior warranted it.

This was several days ago, but it’s so fresh in my mind that it could have been this morning, except it’s not yet light out. But they, or creatures like them, may be there now.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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