The Backyard Pastoral

The neighborhood herd of five
or six deer, several doe and a
button buck, came through our

pine grove this morning on their
way up the dune, maybe down
to the Big Lake. Sometimes they

linger near our nearly frozen pond.
We know this by the marks of
their hooves in the snow. Might

they be looking for a drink or
does their inquisitiveness lead
them close to the sound and

feel of the strange, vibration
of the bubbler helping the gold-
fish survive and stay alive until

spring when they will come to
the surface looking for their
breakfast when they see me

looking down on them from the
balcony? The chocolate lab
will trot to the pond’s edge

and stare at the fish simply
staring back at him. They
know he will not jump in.

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