|The fire had raged for days now, the smoke obscuring the sky all around. Looking out his window, John mournfully looked up at the haze that blocked the sunlight outside his small home. The shafts of light lit the hazy smoke that was drifting between the trees that surrounded his homestead into the forest. He felt a tickling in his chest and throat, as if his body anticipated the asthma attack he’d surely be overcome with if he headed out there. He was trapped as surely as if the fire were raging on his doorstep.
It was at this point that he saw something jut out from the underbrush. First it was like a jagged horn that poked out. Then he saw that it wasn’t a horn, but rather an antler. A full rack surmounting a prominent head and then a regal figure dashed onto his open yard, looking about, snorting. The white surrounding the jet orbs showed that this buck was in terror, near panic.
With jerky movements, the buck tossed its head back and forth then leapt across the wide field of John’s yard. Mesmerized by its sudden grace, he simply watched it as it loped and scrambled across the grass, over and through whatever was in his yard, making its way for the shelter of the northside of his property, where the woods resumed. And where John had his beehives.
He didn’t think as he dashed for the door to stop the buck from harming his bees. He wasn’t conscious of how quickly his breath went ragged. His eyes were wide, like the buck’s, as he sprang from the porch to the grass, sprinting. He collapsed, panting, just feet from the wreckage, looking like a wounded deer in the desperate throws of death, a bee buzzing overhead.
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