Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Took a Walk

The realization came in stages. First, a dry clacking sound, like old dead sticks being tossed into a pile. The park is in the middle of town, so I put it down to some far-off construction project, or perhaps some trail maintenance. I kept walking. 

The sounds got louder, accompanied by muffled thumps. I noticed dust rising from the field next to the trail, the back of some animal barely visible through the tall grass. I pulled out my binoculars, and everything became clear. Two bucks, repeatedly crashing their antlered heads together as two does looked on. It was majestic. It was madness. I wondered how they managed to not lose an eye. 

Before I could even think to grab my camera, the fight was over, the loser (I presume) running into some nearby brush, each exhale exploding in a high-pitched, whistling wheeze. The winner watched for a moment, then sauntered away in the direction of the does. I had just begun fumbling for my camera case when the loser emerged from his refuge half a dozen meters away from where I stood and turned to look me in the eye. I froze. Time stretched, and I somehow managed to not wet myself. Eventually, he wandered off as I stood rooted to the ground, camera completely forgotten in my hands. 

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