Saturday, February 09, 2008

Winter and the Doe

I've been pondering deep things today. Primarily my fascination with Pants-Off, Dance-Off. Is it wrong for me to like that show so much? I don't know. I think it is sort of like why I only watch the audition sections of American Idol. I loose all interest in it once I know the people can actually sing. I mean, who wants to watch that? I can watch people who can sing any old time. People who think they can sing--now that's something special.

I've been backing up my blogrolls today. Blogrolling has been going on and off line more than the power in Grassy Fork recently and I take that to mean that Blogrolling is about to die. So, I may soon be doing a complete revamp of my links on the blog.

I have a thoughtful sad story for you today. I'll try to have something happy tomorrow. I just sort of go with whatever hits me.

Winter and the Doe

The doe's eyes glowed with a glassy sheen like she saw a pasture far away. Her head stretched out in front of her, chin resting on the ground. This wasn't what I signed on for, the woman thought.

There was a moment when a person, an animal, a being--asked for death--welcomed it. This happened on a level different from the urges of the reptile brain, coiled like an asp where skull met vertebrae. Even that part offered token resistance when the overwhelming pain of existence crashed home. At that point the creature, human or animal, looked pale. That was the word describing it but really, there was no word. It was not just pallor, but a fading, like the stuff of existence disappeared, became transparent and flickered between this world and the next.

The doe was there now. She was an old goat and a sick one, but she was loving and soulful. Always ready for a scratch or a cookie, she spent the summer eating sweet grass and resting her poor bones in the sun. But the sun was gone, leaving mud and cold. Gaunt and weakened, she couldn't rise from her nest of straw. The wind sailed through the cracks in the shelter. She looked at the woman, asking, can I go now?

Yes, the woman said, you can go. I will help.

Helping was part of the contract. The woman's ancestors made the doe as she was, fragile and dependent, and an oath drafted in antiquity promised she would not suffer as a result.

The woman stepped outside, squinting into the icy wind, tears turning cold, stopping in their tracks. Again she thought, this is not what I signed on for. She took off her gloves, grasped gunmetal and faced the task.

Mercy sped down the barrel to a point just behind the doe's ear. It did not feel like compassion, it did not feel like love, the woman thought. It felt like the winter wind whistling through stone, skipping across water.

The woman took the doe's body out to the wildwood, far from all, so she could return to the earth, bit by bit. She vanished in a week, the meals of raccoons, possums and bobcats roaming the winter forest.

When spring came and the mountains dressed themselves in green, tender and sweet, wildflowers grew on that spot. A creeping vine twined around the only remaining sign of that winter day, a lone rib bone. A passionflower bloomed.


  1. threecollie said...
    You move me...every time.
    Blog rolling has done the same to me too and it has been driving me nuts. I have most of my sites bookmarked so I can read them anyhow, but it is a pain in the hinderparts.
    Linda said...
    Another wonderful story! Death is such a part of life.
    Linda said...
    Another wonderful story! Death is such a part of life.
    Leeuna said...
    Hi Rosie,
    I'm loving all your stories. I haven't had a lot of time to comment lately, but I always take time to read.
    Hope you're having a good Sunday. Stay warm.

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