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The Hunt

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She didn’t care much about the hunt anymore. She just kept it up out of habit. I was wild and free and lonely. The forest was bustling, with thousands of creatures that called my name in curiosity.

She lived in a daydream, one bright morning following the next. I watched each sunrise for something new and wonderful. She was tired and I was full of life.

The animals feared her bow and they whispered warnings to me as I lay in the trees at night. She feared nothing, not even the largest of beasts.

Through the passing of days I watched her wander through the woods. She was alone; I was lonely. Once, I called out to her as the bright sun dappled the moss carpet green and gold.

She was beautiful, with sun-warmed hair like flames and wolfberries, but her green eyes were empty - I found no hope in them. She looked back at me with the same amount of wonder that I had for her.

She seemed to marvel at me - my beastlike stance and my inquisitive stare, my dark, wild eyes and tousled wind-ruffled hair.

“Hello,” she whispered in a voice quiet from disuse. Slowly, she put down her carved oak bow and reached out a hand to me. I reached back, and as our hands touched, one soft and pale, the other dark and strange, I conveyed all the meanings I had for her in my own words, the language of the forest.

She seemed to understand. She stared back into my creature eyes and then down at the bow.

“I don’t know what I’m doing anymore,” She whispered. “My sisters have moved on. My hunt should be over.”

I nodded as she stared at the trees around her as if for the first time.

Stop hunting the beasts. I ~the forest~ said.

“What else can I do?” She wondered, looking down with sadness at the bow and the life she needed to leave behind.

Stay here. I offered. No more killing, just living. Watching.

She seemed to ponder this, gazing around again at the wild green tangle of home and freedom.

You are hopeless. I whispered. Find it here.

“I am not accustomed to peace.” She lamented. “I have always hunted the forest’s creatures. Isn’t it too late to change?”

I didn’t answer her question because neither of us knew.

In this forest the beasts watch the sun rise and set, the storms come and go. We drink from clear streams and sleep in tree hollows under firefly stars. We are a part of the woods.

“I am a part of the fields, the mountains. I am hunter, you are hunted.”

The hunt is not part of you. I pointed out. It is gone.

She turned to look at me again, and my heart beat like that of a frightened rabbit.

Stay here, live in the forest. End the hunt, become free.

She paused, thinking and remembering her old life. I waited. Then she smiled and took my hand. I grinned too, leading her through the forest as she left her bow, and the hunt, behind and didn’t look back.

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constantly confused

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