05 Nov

On certain autumn mornings, when the sun sleeps late under a blanket of clouds and tosses a lazy arm or leg out turning the path down the hillside to gold, the black dog and I skip along it like Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion. The dog leaps, kangaroo-like, ears in flight, to see over tall grass, and spots a deer or a rabbit, which he chases into the fallow field where it runs and bounds, heroically, into the gnarled island of apple trees, and is gone. But on this day, the dog stops, mid-stride, his front paw dangling like a dropped jaw. In the distance, where the apples cling to ancient branches, a moose lifts its antlers and observes the dog. Unnerved, the dog turns and runs to my side and sits on the tip of my boot, and together we watch the regal bull alight from the orchard, jogging like a warmed-up boxer, across the field and into the storybook from which he came.

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