The flame flickers over last season’s oak and the embers twinkle like a million red stars. I sit amongst friends and smores enjoying the Indian Summer. Laughter and dew settles as we relive the events of the day. Out in the forest, I hear something unfamiliar. A call of some wild thing that seems to be wanton and worried. I sneak away, issuing some excuse or other. There’s always twigs to gather and shadows to explore. I stand at the edge of the blackness and listen. Is that feather? Is it legged and winged? I creep closer needing desperately to know what small wonder is awake in the night. The sound is coming from the canopy. This thing – this mystery is living in my forest. Or, am I living near its forest? I can’t leave. I am drawn further and further into the damp twilight. I listen, craning my neck as if my length will cover the distance between it and me. One more time – I hear the bats in the Spanish moss. I linger a moment and smile. I return to the campfire satisfied.
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