I stealthily slip through the thorny underbrush,
trying not catch my soft camouflage on the grabby briars.
Before making my way through the lush, frosty clover,
I scan carefully, hoping I have not been busted.
The coast is clear, and I sling my sleek bow over my shoulder
as I creep to the base of my lofty tree stand.
I try to remain silent as I ascend the frigid ladder
and scoot onto my dusty perch.
Although I made barely a whisper while approaching my stand,
even the light rustling of leaves and the creak of my ladder
is like a blaring fog horn compared to the silence which follows.
At first, even the scurry of a miniscule field mouse draws my attention,
though I soon relax and feel my senses ease.
Hours pass on as I fight off the unceasing persuasion of sleep.
My eyelids feel heavier and heavier by the second,
and I am about ready to surrender to the slumber
when a twig snaps a mere fifty yards east of my position.
I begin to turn my head to spot the source of the disturbance,
moving as slow as molasses to avoid startling the animal.
My eyes grow as wide as the Pacific when I behold
the majestic whitetail buck nibbling at the emerald green wheat blades.
My mind races a million miles a minute
as I ready my bow and eagerly nock an arrow.
I peer up from my trigger-ready bow and arrow
only to find the buck has lingered back into the brush and out of sight.
My temper boils and I can feel my ears redden
out of pure frustration and rage.
I fling an arrow into the ground below me
and make a furious beeline down my ladder.
I have had enough of continuous failures and discouragements
and am ready to pack up my hunting gear permanently.
Suddenly, as I am half way down my descent of shame,
I hear the familiar sound of brush breaking
as a slender doe slips into the field.
Not more than a foot behind her is my buck,
but before I can even react,
the happy couple detects my presence and scamper away.
I have learned my lesson in the hardest way imaginable to a hunter.
Never again will I let my frustration
overcome my patience.