Welcoming the city-withered...
|Today, I saw a very strange cat in the yard, large but lanky, dark charcoal grey, large ears on a triangular head with great big slanted yellow eyes. He wouldn't stop to talk.
On Christmas Day, I had occasion to go driving through Myles Standish State Forest and parts of Carver. It was sunny, and calm; the cranberry bogs glowed russet and gold, and the roads were blessedly devoid of traffic. We saw little white country churches shining beside the road. It was a perfectly picturesque and peaceful day.
I'm not home by my hushed, haunted forest right now, but puppysitting in a development. There runs a narrow tract of undeveloped land between the houses on this street and a horse farm behind. (The Golden Retriever, Digger, is desperate to befriend the horse, but alas, his electric fence prevents him.) The other morning, bleary eyed and caffeine free, I let my dogs out. Shutting the door, I noticed two men walking through the tract, one dressed in hunter orange and toting a rifle. With my characteristic impulsive lack of common sense, I marched out into the snow in my bare toes and enquired, was there something I could help the gentlemen with? Turns out, they're tracking a big buck they shot and wounded. The day before.(Ah, well, good thing I have little respect for hunters already, huh? You better have the safety on that thing, Fudd...) He came through here. See, look, his tracks are here, by this corn you put out? (Ah, I don't live here, chum, so what now?!) There's a ton of blood! (Ooo, thanks for the visual of red blood on white snow, think I'll wait til later on that...) No, we don't need your help, we'll find him...(this after I said they could leave their phone number and I would call if I saw anything...)
It's the strangest thing I think I've ever had happen at a dog's house. It beats the time the Shetland Sheepdog went leaping through the sliding screen door, it trumps piggysitting the geriartric pig who I know hated me, it even tops critter sitting at the House of Paranoia, where your blood pressure is elevated the whole time as you nervously study the menagerie for symptoms of their assorted illnesses. I had a bird die the day after its parents got home at the House of Paranoia, and from then on it was petsitting hell.
But hunters stalking wounded prey through a residential neighborhood has all of them whacked.
I was torn between feeling bad for the buck if he was badly injured and rooting for him if he could reasonably survive. I'm not an expert tracker (although I was interested to note I got a very strong visual image of him from the size of his hoofs and the distance of his gait...I've always enjoyed reading the wild things in the snow, so maybe I AM a good amateur tracker!) but I didn't see any limbs dragging or tracks staggered wrong, nor any blood, but he did wander through the yard. Most heartening, he stopped in at least two places to snuffle up something to eat, a good sign with any injury. I hope he's ok; he must be beautiful.
Man, those hunters, huh? Let me add, finally, that they originally shot him (the day before...really, I can't emphasize that enough...) across a busy, narrow, fast and dangerous road. Man, those hunters.
Also, yesterday (Christmas day), I saw 3 large shiny black crows perched at the very tippy top of some bare trees. Spooky!!