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KINDNESS

The Dark

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Travelling through the dark I found a deer dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.

It is usually best to roll them into the canyon: that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.

By the glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing; she had stiffened already, almost cold.

I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.

My fingers touching her side brought me the reason, her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting, alive, still, never to be born.

Beside that mountain road I hesitated.

The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights; under the hood purred the steady engine.

I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red; around our group, I could hear the wilderness listen.

I thought hard for us all, my only swerving, then pushed her over the edge into the river. ~

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