Red deer stag in field

Now each time I encounter a stag, whether they’re in the distance running with their harem of hinds, or slowly crossing the road in front of my car in order to make a point, i feel sorrow.

When i hear a gunshot somewhere in the forest, i think of the direction from whence it came and remember which stag I’d encountered in that general vicinity, and i wonder if the hunter’s target was one and the same.

Slowly, the voices of the rut fall silent…

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