I put on my jacket and go out into the cold morning. Autumn has already arrived in the woods and the oaks show their best yellow, ochre and scarlet tones. I leave my cabin behind and enter the trails, followed by Enzo, my old Labrador, who wags his tail happily, as if he were still a puppy. Soon we find the prints of a deer’s cloven hooves with their split heart shape stamped in the frost. Enzo steps forward, eager. Some partridges distract him for a moment but he continues his search. I go a few steps behind him, armed with my camera.
As I come out into the clearing by the ravine that overlooks the stream, I see it: a magnificent twelve-point buck. Enzo sits silently, panting with his tongue sticking out, staring at the deer soaring on the other side of the ravine. I look at the edge and notice the stream running at the bottom, more than thirty feet away. The deer tracks come right up to where I am standing and abruptly disappear. There is no way it has come down that steep hill. Between one margin and the other there is more than twenty yards. I do not understand how an animal of such size could have crossed that distance, unless it had wings to fly.
The warmth of the sun surrounds me pleasantly and I decide to enjoy the show. The big male nibbles at the grass calmly and every so often he looks in my direction without flinching. My camera does wonders capturing those unspeakable moments of epiphany. The relaxing gurgling sound of the stream running amidst the stones below will not appear in the photos, but it will surely remain in my memory.
Suddenly, a thick mist begins to descend on us, enveloping us mercilessly. I manage to take the last photos, in which the twelve points of the male barely stick out from the whitish mantle. Before the deer completely disappears, amid the intermittence of the fog, I see it unfold two huge Pegasus wings, with pale brown feathers speckled with white, to then beat them vigorously and finally move away from my blurred vision field. Enzo, nervous, begins to bark at it.
I can’t move, dumbfounded. After a few eternal minutes, the fog dissipates as strangely as it came. The buck is no longer on the other side of the ravine. Enzo has calmed down and groans pitifully. I caress his head and we start back towards the cabin. A steaming cup of coffee awaits me. Perhaps while reviewing the photos I will find one that proves that everything was not just a delusion product of the intervention of Mother Nature.
Marcelo Medone (1961, Buenos Aires, Argentina) is a fiction writer, poet and screenwriter. His works have received numerous awards and have been published in magazines and books, individually or in anthologies, in multiple languages in more than 40 countries all over the world, including the US. Facebook: Marcelo Medone / Instagram: @marcelomedone