Down at the bottom of the garden, stepping lightly and delicately as though into a fairy tale, a young buck with antlers just beginning to branch and still velvet-soft emerged from the trees. He passed under our cedars, and then briefly out of sight... and then I could hear him making his way up the slope, towards the house. I leaned on the railing, keeping very still, waiting... and there he came, out of the darkness, shaped like a dream, and stopped for a moment, staring straight up at me out of huge dark eyes, his big ears turned towards me, listening for danger.
"It's okay," I whispered, "you're beautiful. Be welcome."
We stared at one another, this piece of the wild and me, and then I made him a little bow and left him in possession of the twilit forest. It was his, after all. My seeing him there had been a gift.
Good night, all.