There’s a particularly brave roe deer in the woods. We meet under cover of morning quiet and study each other. I see his uneven antlers sprouting from his crown, his pre-moult coat looking ready to be hung out for summer.
His ears see my every move as I shift my stance, scratch midgebits, blink and breathe. Eye’s locked with his I will the moment to last, and it always does as he gazes from his wood sorreled slope, ready to explode into the undergrowth, but he never does.
Sometimes I take a picture, mostly I don’t. These moments I taste just for me, for my own reassurance that here, in this wild Anglezarke place, it’s ok. I’m ok. Not too scary. We have an agreement, a pact. I won’t move and he won’t run. He leaves the party first and then I may slink away with my smile blessing the quiet paths.
Woodland roe deer, ’til we meet again.