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Hubby vs. Wifey Post #9: A Girl and a Very Large Deer

Tonight's picture was chosen by hubby. We had a time crunch so decided our goal was to finish under an hour. We were successful. Tell us what you think in the comments!

Hubby's Version:

Trevon was being drawn deeper into the forest. He knew these woods well, but he had never gone this far in. He had never needed to. Everything he needed to help sustain his village was on the edge near the grasslands.

Several hours ago, Trevon had entered the wood like he had a thousand times before. But this time was a little different. The trees seemed taller. The undergrowth seemed greener. It may have been his imagination, but there seemed to be more birds at the tops of the trees. A famine had hit the villagers' fields, but the forest was strangely alive today.

First, he caught sight of a rabbit. Trevon nocked an arrow, but the creature hopped off into a thicket before he could take his shot. Then there was a small deer. It wasn´t much, but it could feed a few families. Again, it turned and saw him at the last second, then darted off. He saw a few other woodland creatures, but they all ran away from him before he could take aim. They all ran in the same direction.

Deeper into the forest.

Trevon felt an urge, a tug at the center of his chest. I must follow them. It didn´t make sense, but he had to obey. Something was calling him, commanding him to go. He would see a passing fox or badger and pause, but the need to continue forward overpowered his need to hunt.

It was some time before he finally came to a clearing. Trevon could hear hundreds of different animals wandering around, calling to each other. Owls, squirrels, bears, stag, and, if he wasn´t mistaken, at least one unicorn. None of the creature were bothering each other. A wolf and mountain goat stood side by side drinking from a calm, steady brook. A hawk sidestepped over a chipmunk and gave it room to pass to an adjacent branch.

¨What in Gaia´s name...¨

Apparently, Trevon had spoken out loud. He had not meant to make his presence known. Every animal stopped suddenly and turned to face him. He stared back silently, not daring to move. The tense quiet was broken by soft laughter near the center of the clearing. Trevon strained to see through the herds of animals.

What he saw took him a moment to comprehend. The gathering of animals around him was strange and somewhat unsettling, but the silk clad woman was entirely unbelievable. She was sitting on her knees just beside a small cluster of four trees. Her hair reached nearly to the moss-covered ground beneath her. She splashed playfully at some fish swimming by just outside her reach in the nearby brook.

She paused briefly, as if suddenly aware of Trevon´s presence and looked up to meet his gaze. Her eyes were a deep brown, like her hair, but reflected the vivid green of the forest around her. She was neither surprised nor worried. She just sat in silence, tilting her head slightly in thought.

The trees beside the woman shifted. Trevon looked up to see that they were not trees at all, but the legs of an enormous creature. It roughly resembled a full-grown buck, except that it was easily over fifty feet high at the shoulder. It reached down its massive head toward the woman. Its antlers caught the tops of the nearby trees and rained branches to the ground. The antlers themselves seemed to grow together and strongly resembled tree bark.

The gigantic beast gently lowered its nose and gently nudged the woman. She continued staring unblinking at Trevon. She reached up and patted the oversized muzzle.

With a slight smile she said, ¨Yes, I think he is.¨

The woman rose gracefully to her feet. The animals around all parted and made a clearing from her to Trevon. The colossal stag turned to face Trevon. The woman reached out an open had to him invitingly. ¨We are glad you have come,¨ she said warmly. ¨Come, we have much to show you.¨

Wifey's Version:

The sun is warm today.

I feel it melting down my back, giving me shivers of joy as the moss soaks up the rays and gives back some of the moisture it’s collected from weeks of rain and clouds. I flourish in the rain, but I bloom in the sun that comes afterwards.

Walking through the woods, delighting in the sensation of warmth, feeling the ground softly bend beneath my hooves…my eyes close in peace as I breathe in the rich smells of loam and grass and budding leaves. The water trickles gently in the streams and overflows its banks playfully leaping onto rocks previously dry and then dancing back into the racing current. The water is sweet to my long tongue and coolly refreshing. I drink deeply and sigh in contentment. Perhaps today will be the day that I traverse the forest and find my mate, gone this whole last moon shift. He’ll be waiting for me, and I’m eager to see him once more. I have felt the stirrings of the Ground Mover lately and am troubled.

I flick my ears forward and leave the stream, feeling the course to my mate settle in my bones, knowing instinctively where he waits by the smell in the air and the feel of the breeze. He is Guardian of the forest, and though I am large and strong as he, I long to be under his protection once more with the contentment that comes being by his side.

My strides lengthen as my longing mounts. The trees beckon me forward as if they know I am meant to be elsewhere. Their caresses give me happiness even in my haste. I travel far until the sun is ahead of me and I can see the outline of the moon peeking out of the blue sky.

I stop.

What is that smell? It is strange to my nostrils. I huff it back out though it is not unpleasant – simply unknown to me. I feel it on my tongue: it is salty and sweet, sweet in a way that is not like the forest smells. I stay still, bewildered.

Finally, my curiosity and responsibility move me on. My footsteps are soft and silent; my antlers weave gently through the trees without touching their leaves.

What is it? What is it? The smaller animals are chittering excitedly. They are more anxious since the Ground Mover started forewarning his coming. I blow gentle air on them to calm them, and they quiet, looking up at me trustingly, quivering.

Then the smell mounts, and my eyes, not as sharp as my nose, catch sight of the oddity.

Small, though not as small as my little forest friends. A furry head, but not as furry as them either. Its limbs are white and long and hairless, and I bend to inspect them, overcome by my curiosity. It lifts one to my face, and I do not flinch. It is so small; I am not afraid.

Its body is a strange color. I am bemused once more. I have not seen this color or texture before. I try it with my tongue and find it to be dead, not alive. I stare into the creature’s eyes, nonplussed. Its eyes are highly intelligent and look back at me searchingly. Then it rises on its hind legs and its body moves separately from its legs. It takes hold of the separate part with its paws and lifts, and I see that it is different from its body. I sniff it again and am relieved. This odd material is not part of the creature. How could one be both dead and alive? Of course one cannot. I sigh my relief, and the creature makes a joyful sound, almost like my friends that fly on the wind.

Now I wonder what it is doing here. I raise my head and look about for more of its kind. Is it not a pack creature? Does it not have family? I snuff its furry head for clues and find smells that are not of the forest. It is lost then. Its kind do not live here. Why has it wandered here? I ponder. There is still much forest. It must be very lost. Concern clouds my mind as I note the sinking of the sun and feel again the pull toward my mate.

But of course! I must bring the creature to him. He will know what to do with it, how to lead it home and keep it safe. It does not seem to be a tasty morsel, but my friends who hunt at night have a peculiar taste that I do not understand, and with the Ground Mover coming...

It would be best to take it with me so none are tempted by its strange odor and soft body. If it is the only one of its kind, it would be wrong to leave it for dead.

My mind is made up. I nudge the creature, and it makes that sound again. I herd it gently with my face until it seems to understand that it is to follow me.

I taste the air and am satisfied. We will make it to my mate before dark.

Then my footing slips as the ground moves.

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