On a cloudy autumn morning in late November, he sat, perched in a tree, awaiting the rising of the sun in the eastern sky. Anticipation was building in his muscles and in his mind. He was patiently watching the dark shadows.
As soon as the sun began to rise, the forest came to life. Birds began to sing, squirrels began their chatter, and turkeys gobbled in the distance. However, they were not the animals the man was eagerly scouring the forest with his eyes to find. He sat in absolute silence, constantly scanning and investigating any small difference he perceived. He rose to slowly stretch every now and then to keep his muscles warm and ready. It was his mission to bring his family’s next meal to the table.
It was nearing midday when he saw the head of a white-tailed doe poke through the brush to his left. Slowly she stepped out and began to move in his direction. Every step she took was carefully and gingerly placed to be as inaudible as possible. She moved like a ghost across the forest floor. Every few steps she paused to listen and lift her nose to the gentle breeze. She sensed no immediate danger and continued to move toward her stalker, unaware.
He watched her with the patience instilled by years of hunting. He slowly rose to his feet and held his bow ready to draw. In his mind he calculated the distance to his target. Sixty yards, fifty, forty, thirty … When she was within thirty yards he silently drew his bow and brought the string to the corner of his mouth. He aimed just behind her front shoulder and tracked her in his sights until she was within twenty yards. For the last time she paused to listen and take in her surroundings.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.