Dinner Is Served … Or Not

Ten paces away, a buck tests the wind at the creek’s edge. Its antlers are a heavy crown and its legs are as fluid as the water.

Brash can take the shot now, have the animal skinned and on the spit for dinner before sunset. But he waits, takes joy in the cool embrace of the forest and the stolen songs of the magpie.

Something soft brushes his thigh and a quiet voice says, “Can I help you catch him?”

He grins down at his daughter and tousles her hair. “Think you can do it on your own?”

Skuld puts two fingers on his wrist, her signal for ‘yes’, and steps into the open. Her feet are quiet as mice at sunrise and her dark hair flutters like feathers in the wind.

It happens so quick he almost misses it.

One blink to the next and the animal is in her thrall.

She vaults onto the buck’s back and guides it across the creek.

Brash chuckles and shakes his head. Seven winters in, he still can’t break her of making friends with food. “So much for dinner.”

She pats her rucksack. “Don’t worry, Papa Bear. A fox killed the goose nesting down by the dogwoods, so I scooped up her eggs.”

“That’s my clever cub,” he says, kissing her cheek. “Now, how are you going to explain to your mother that you’re riding home on her deer stew?”


238 words / Written for Thursday Threads

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