At a bonfire in the far back of my parents yard, I was left alone to tend to the flames. It was going strong, a huge circular fire pit had been built on the edge of the woods and was crackling with delight. The crisp dusk in early winter was the setting, and although my friends had left me, I felt at peace.
There was a loud thump that came from the forest, just beyond the perimeter of the trees. I knew it was a deer, and she hoped out at me beside the fire.
Standing up, I took a defensive pose on the bench not expecting any confrontation from the typically docile creature. She lunged at me, hooves in the air. I grabbed my fire poker and attempted to scare her off, flailing the spear side to side. She didn't back down. This deer had rage for me, standing on her hind legs battling me with her front. She started to growl and show me her sharp teeth. She was a predator.
I finally had to fight back in order to discourage this advancing enemy. I used the poker as a baseball bat and hit her in the ribs as hard as I could. It was enough, and she ran back into the woods.
I jumped off the bench to follow the deer but I saw my mother in the distance watching me. A large flock of birds flew into the yard with the snow, most landed on the high branches of a spruce. I felt compelled to take a photograph but kept going.
My mother said something to me as I walked towards the trees. I peered through to another woman further back, as if through the trees revealed another persons world. She stood in the blue night that was turning to black, beside her steed. This horse kept changing appearances, from stallion to deer to buck back to stallion. Colours, shapes and sizes. The deer that I had injured was returning to her.
I looked over the the fire I was to tend and realized that it had almost gone out. How much time had I spent battling the deer? watching this woman? Quickly I stopped my pursuit and used my poker to bring the embers back to life. As I dug through the ashes my mother came up from behind. "Can you get it going again?" She asked.