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The Perfect Picture

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I have always been a nature girl. The woods behind my house are my favorite place to play. I build forts and climb trees and play as many make-believe games as you can imagine. But most of all, I love to take pictures. I take my digital camera outside practically every day. I take pictures of the beautiful flowers in my mother’s garden. I photograph the red and orange trees in the autumn. In the woods, I take pictures of forest animals, which is especially hard. Flowers are not going to run away when they hear you approaching. Animals, on the other hand, are skittish. I have managed to capture a raccoon, a chipmunk, and many different birds on my camera. But it has been my dream for the longest time to have a photo of a deer. Deer are my favorite animals because their personalities mirror mine: quiet and timid. I’ve been trying for two years to get a snapshot of a deer. It may never happen.



One lazy Saturday afternoon, I decide it is a great day to go in the woods. It is a sunny day, but not obnoxiously hot. I am in the mood to hang out at my tree fort. I’m not in the mood for taking pictures. But nevertheless, I grab my camera just in case.



I run through my backyard to the woods. I follow the familiar dirt path that leads to my tree fort. The path has not been cleared for a while, so branches have grown out, blocking the way. Small, baby pine trees have sprouted from the soil. However, the path is still very clear and easy to follow. I reach the fort, which is on the edge of a clearing. So many days, I have sat and watched the clearing, hoping a deer will emerge. It never happens.


I climb the braches up to my tree fort. I sit down and listen. That is one of my favorite things to do in the woods: listen. I love hearing bird calls and chattering squirrels. I love listening. You can learn so much by just taking the time to listen.


For a long time, I sit motionless up in my fort. Then, suddenly, a splotch of brown catches my eye. I slowly turn my head. A doe cautiously comes out into the clearing. Her coat is beautiful, liker the color of cinnamon. She stops to nibble at the grass. Without making any sudden movements, I pick up my camera. The deer looks up, off into the distance, and she is listening, just like me. I snap a picture. The clicking sound startles the doe, and I watch her bound off into the forest until she is out of sight. Then, I look down at the screen of my digital camera.


And the picture is absolutely perfect.





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