After rain and cold, the snow is reduced to a thin crust on top of the leaf litter. It shatters with every waking footstep of the deer.
Almost as warm outside as in. Two deer trot past, their gray coats shining, the trees behind them dark from last night’s rain.
—Every season is deer season; this is the opening day of rifle season. —Where are the rifles, then? —Zipped up in their cases, staying dry.
Dripdripdrip — rain on the roof. Off in the darkness, the explosive snorting of a deer: coyote? Bear? Human? Something with the wrong odor.
A doe trailed by a scrawny 5-point buck. The soundtrack includes a train, a raven, geese, a wren, and a low-flying plane with a wide eraser.
Dawn finds the first snow — a faint dusting. It’s very still. Down in the pines, a screech owl quavers. The slow footfalls of a deer.