Dry autumn leaves are the carpet beneath my hooves.
Moss under a young sapling provides me with what few amount of rain drops have survived these parched last few weeks.
Stars are beginning to shine in the dim light. By this time of year there should be storm clouds filling the sky from dusk 'til dawn. But this year has been strangely quiet of thunder and scarce of rain.
I scratch my long antlers against a strong oak tree and tingle with the pleasure. The forrest has it's small comforts.
Squirrels dart up an Oak, chasing each other ever higher. They dare each other with their leaps from trunk to trunk and catch themselves on the thinest of branches. They do not comprehend the impending danger that I sense.
A twig snaps to my right. One of the does. She is exceedingly lovely in this twilight glow.
I approach her slowly and tip my head to make full emphasis of my pointed rack. She bows her head the slightest bit in response. I come up by her left side and brush my hide against hers and drink in the smell of the wilderness around us.
The world is peaceful while we stand here together, I can almost block out my worries.
A far off rustle in the brush breaks our moment. The smell of putrid smoke reaches my nostrils and I hear clumsy steps crashing through the leaves.
There is one shout that rises from the oncoming group of humans. Then their footsteps quicken in panic. A tall, ancient spruce is no longer deep green, but crimson and orange.
My legs tense and I signal for my doe. We sprint and dodge trees and boulders.
Instinct and fear urge us on. Away from the manmade destruction behind us.
Hooves sprint like lightning and the autumn colors blur together as one.