Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Wild Hunt

It was mid morning and the frost was all gone. I was in a familiar forest, walking and talking with my friend David. He had been asking to come along hawking for some time now, and there we were. Anna Kendrick was on my left fist, a hiking stick in my right hand. She watching the ground, the trees, and the sky as we made our way along the stream-side trail. In my gauntleted fingers her jesses were wrapped gently in place, but if she felt like taking off just opening my hand was all she needed to be free.

We walked until we came to a place where lake, forest, and field met. The trees were free of underbrush. Just a carpet of yellow leaves between the trees, all a comfortable distance apart which made the place a Nemeton for a few quick inhalations. The tired light of October shone through what was left of the leaves on the maples above, creating a dappled motion that made the ground like water. Then I breathed in deep and felt her adjust her body weight and grip my hand a little tighter. She bobbed her head, hunched over, watched the world in a way I never could even begin to imagine. I know this; she sees things in a way that is easy for fools to call ruthless.

In our wild cathedral we could hear the chattering bark of squirrels. Anna flew off my hand and eventually found herself perched above me, her attention cleft between hunting and me. As I walked with David she followed above, the little brass bell on her anklet jingling. Sometime she would follow by perching above us, and sometimes she would come right to my outstretched fist. If she did there would be a little piece of heart there for her. She would gobble it up and take off again. Her cream chest plumage and auburn wings seemed golden in that light. Every single time she leaves me I know it may be the last time I ever see her again. When she flies back to me—weaving through trees and ducking under pine boughs—I felt myself forget to breathe. '

The sunlight through her wings.
The hope we go home with death in our pocket.
The last sunlight of the year that isn't covered in ice.
She isn't ruthless at all. She is honest.

Some children grow up hearing stories of wolves and fear them as monsters. Other children grow up wishing for a pack of their own. Out in this tired light, with these partners, I would howl if it didn't scare the game.


Blogger Sarah said...


November 1, 2015 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Erik said...

Do you listen to Tallest Man on Earth? He's got a song called the Wild Hunt and it's fantastic.

November 1, 2015 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

A very nice essay!

November 1, 2015 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm amazed at how quickly she's ready to hunt with you!

November 1, 2015 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Chelsea Tarver said...

You just howl on the page instead then, mama. Lovely story!

November 1, 2015 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger Andrea Ostapovitch said...

A wonderful, little read! I cannot even begin to imagine how it must feel to have such an amazing friend.

November 2, 2015 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger edie batt said...

So beautifully written....I could see and feel and smell all of the things you described so eloquently. Loved it....

November 2, 2015 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger meigancam01 said...

Very nice and thoughtful article.
Thanks for sharing with us.

November 2, 2015 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger damnyankee said...

So lovely

November 3, 2015 at 7:39 PM  

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