Thursday, September 20, 2012

SECRET SPOT- The Deer Stand

The deer trail was a thin narrow ribbon winding its way along the top of a low bluff, which ran parallel to the lake shore. It was a meandering sort of trail which followed the path of least resistance over, under and around until it came to a spot where the bluff gave way to a slope which ran uninterrupted down to the lake. At this spot two trails converged to form a veritable deer highway down to the shore. It was obviously a well-used trail. Hoof prints of all sizes were pressed sharply into the mud and the way was littered with their droppings. Near this spot where the trails came together, some enterprising hunter had constructed a stand, hammering 2X4's between two adjacent trees, and then cutting up the waste to lay down as decking. Other boards had been nailed directly into the trunk of one of the trees to make kind of a crude ladder. I clambered up and admired the view, which commanded the approach along both trails as well as the one shooting off down toward the lake. With my eyes I followed the trail that went down toward the water, and then looked beyond at the sweep of the broad lake itself. A yacht was putt-putting it's way south out in the middle, and a bass boat was tearing its way north at top speed against the wind. I sat there for some time watching the yacht's slow progress, squinting to see if I could make out any figures on deck at that distance. I thought I could see someone, either a woman or maybe a man with long hair. I was trying to decide which when I heard the "SNAP" of a twig, and the "SWOOSH" of a branch returning to its place off to my left and, turning, watched with wonder as two does, their coats summer red, came into view along the trail and passed directly below the stand. They were so close I imagined I could have jumped on their backs like a panther if I had wanted to, and, in truth, I was curious what would happen if I did drop directly down on top of a deer, but before I had an opportunity to expand on this thought or get up the gumption to act on it they had passed beyond the tree and were soon lost out of sight amidst the dense woods moving quickly in the direction of the lake.

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