by Patrick Sexton © 2002

A boy sat silently in the forest, his knee itched but he dared not scratch it for soon dusk would come and any movement whatsoever could ruin everything. He breathed carefully, with as little movement as possible.

The day had been a good one. He found a piece of quartz that was large and perfect clear except for a bright explosion of red iron ore in its center, like a lava lamp frozen in time. It was quite a find. The boy also explored an abandoned mine. The deeper he went into the mine the higher the water level became. The water was frigid and he emerged from the mine shivering, in the heat of the bright summer day. He laid on the rocks by the river which were full of the suns warmth. Soon he was hot again and jumped into the river to cool down.

Dusk now, the boy still sat, his heart beating faster as he heard the sounds begin around him. A dark shape came towards him, the boy smiled and watched as it became a deer, a doe, with a fawn coming awkwardly behind it. In the next few minutes several deer passed him on their way to the meadow where they fed. The boy did not move, he watched and remained silent.

Darkness came and the deer left. When he was sure they were gone he scratched his itches and stretched then made his way back to the river. He followed its path to where the big trees began. He liked to sleep there because the river sounded nice, he knew the first thing he would see when he woke up would be the giant ferns curving above him. Above the ferns the great trees standing reaching up to the sky. Dragons and dinosaurs could live here it seemed. Maybe a deer, white as marble, would come up to him unafraid and rub its face against his before darting off into the green undergrowth, ferns slapping back in its path.

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