Monday, July 05, 2004


Yesterday, while working upstairs I glanced out the southern window into the meadow across the inner road and saw, rising up from the tall golden grass, the many-pronged antlers of the buck that claims that area as his territory, the buck who ate my fig buds and biwa leaves at the end of winter.

He was lying there casually in the sunshine, safe in the tall grass, only his antlers visible, the antlers turning this way and that as his attention was called to a sound or a scent or an itch on his body, but the effect of it was quite stately, regally casual as he lay there in invisible majesty.

When later I went out to work in the garden knowing he was just a few dozen meters away, he no doubt even more aware of my presence and proximity, very close and human-smelling, every time I heard a noise that was not the wind or other naturally incidental sound I turned to see if he was visible there in the kuzu and reeds and broken trees that thrust antlers of their own out over the grasses, but I never saw him, time and time again. I could feel him there though, sensing me, moving cautiously, the way I was moving. We were two parts of a very old equation.


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