Today is the last day of doe season. I’ve tried, repeatedly, to get a deer this year. I had two chances. One was the time I was walking and came up on one on my farm. I lined it up in my sights and pulled the trigger. Only I’d forgotten that I’d left the safety on. Because I’m a moron. By the time I figured out what my problem was, the buck had figured out me and was outta there. Another time, I took a shot at a doe on my cousin’s farm, but I missed. It was really too far away for me, but hey, I tried. Other than that, I have not even seen a deer. They scoff at me with their antler scrapes on my trees and their poop on my paths.
They’re out there.
Especially that one buck. When they’re nesting down in the woods behind my fields, he says, “Don’t worry, boys, we’re all going to live to be twelve points. SHE CAN’T EVEN TAKE THE SAFETY OFF.”
This morning, it was very cold. Windy. I was sitting out on a rock overlooking a ravine.
As I sat there freezing to death, I kept looking at the very pretty blue berries near the edge of the cliff.
By the way, I’m always afraid I’m going to slip and fall off a cliff when I’m hunting because I’m such a klutz. However, the colder I got and the longer I sat, the more enchanted I was with the pretty blue berries. I put my shotgun down and scrambled over there on my hands and knees. The berries were caught up in briars, but I pulled a knife out of my pocket and I disentangled and cut them out.
I hadn’t seen a deer, but I wasn’t going to leave with nothing. I could have pretty blue berries!
I’m easily distracted, in case I haven’t mentioned it.
Once I had berries, of course I needed some accompaniment. Some interesting sticks and pods and things I can’t name. The berries called for an entire arrangement.
By the time I made it back to the main path, my shotgun over my shoulder and my fists full of wild wonder, I couldn’t have taken out a deer if it had sat down in front of me and asked me for the time. Like I was going to put down my berries after risking my life to obtain them!
With the last doe season ending, so are my chances. If I’d shot a deer, I would have proudly posted a photo of me with my prize. But I still came away with a prize, didn’t I? In the spirit of making lemonade (or berries) out of lemons, here I am with my prize!
My wild winter bouquet!
I didn’t even have to field dress it.
You can order Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor now!