3/24/2022: A Trickle of Water
I’m trying something new. Every day I’ll write for 10 minutes. I won’t limit what I write to any particular thing. It could be fiction, poetry, an essay, whatever. The goal is to write and then publish and share it. I need to get over my fear of publishing and I need to build a writing (and publishing) habit.
This is another free writing piece and my fourth in a row. Enjoy.
Water flows down a mountainside into a crevasse. It is what’s left of the past season’s melt. Along the path of the temporary stream, a single stray jack pine sapling rests. The little tree is almost dead. The snowmelt offers it a reprieve from oblivion.
Twenty years later, the sapling is now a full-grown tree, standing nearly 30 feet from base to top. In its boughs are housed many birds, squirrels, chipmunks, ants, and other assorted creatures. A trickle of water allowed for this home to grow and procreate. There is now a whole stand of jack pine around where there was once just a sapling. A trickle of water. A miracle.
In this stand of jack pine, there is a deer. He’s a middle-aged buck with a herd of his own. The buck and his herd feed on the younger saplings in the stand. They chew on the small, unopened pine cones that litter the ground. If not for these pine cones, he and his herd might starve. The cones are not their favorite food, but they do when times are lean, as they are now.
Water is no longer as abundant as it was when the father jack pine was a sapling. There is no snowmelt, is only infrequent rain, and the water spread from planes to prevent fires and keep the forests alive. There is a man who sees the buck. He thinks nothing of the herd or the pine stand or the lack of snowmelt. All of his focus is on the buck. He is a hunter.
The hunter aims his rifle at the heart of the buck. His aim is wobbly for his arms are weak. He is dehydrated and hungry. If he doesn’t kill the buck, he may not survive the week. Even humans are at the mercy of life and death eventually. The hunter steadies his rifle on a rock outcropping and concentrates. He pulls the trigger.
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