Visitors in the Mist

The fog seemed to rise from the ground and hover there, cloaking everything in a cool stillness.  Above, the promise of a colorful sunset developed, but below, the colors had been muted by the mist.  I ventured out to enjoy the interesting phenomena.  Just beyond the corral, I glimpsed movement.I froze, while my lagging brain tried to process what I was seeing, or if my tired eyes had seen anything at all.  The only sound was the soft scratching and peeping of the chicks.  I waited; then, with the twitch of an ear, I saw her.  (Do you see her?  To the left of the tree, just above the water trough, her back and one ear are barely visible.)She turned away, and through the dense air I could vaguely discern those rather large ears, which no doubt had detected me long before I realized her presence.  I regretted startling her and upsetting her quiet evening.  She didn’t run, but moved slowly, watching and listening.  I was torn between moving closer and, hopefully, getting better photos, or staying still, watching the scene unfold. Then, she stopped and turned her eyes toward me, gracing me with an ethereal sight.

I stopped breathing.

After several seconds, I slowly raised the camera.  One click of the shutter, and she was on the move again.Hastening past the chicken house, I rounded the corner, just catching a glimpse of her as she made her way toward the stock tank.  Or, so I thought.  There was movement behind the willows, and I realized I was seeing a different deer in the view finder.  There were two deer, not one.

By now, the two were moving much faster than me.  I made my way through the chicken yard, down the fence row and out into the pasture.  I ran low to the ground (not an easy task) and kept close to the corral fence.  Yeah, I’m an elderly ninja.

As I cleared the stock tank, I had the full view of the pasture to the west, but only bouncing white tails were visible through the gradually lifting fog.So, here were two of my girls, my charges, whom I have sworn to protect…and, they were them running in fear of me.  I wanted to call to them, “I’m sorry!  Please, stay here.  Stay safe.”  That, of course, would have had the opposite effect, so I was silent, as was the evening.As I watched, they both turned back, radar-sized ears pointed in my direction.  I hope they realize that I mean them no harm, and they are safe within the humble confines of my broken-down fences.

The light was fading.  I had intruded long enough on my visitors, so I slowly followed the route back to the house.  The two watched me go.  Then, I guess, we all faded into the mist.

When I reached the porch, I glanced back toward the west to assess the remains of a beautiful evening, realizing I had almost missed the sunset.  It wasn’t gaudy or brazen;  no loud splashes of color.  It was subtle, muted and soft, with quiet, understated beauty, much like my two visitors in the mist.

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