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October, 1999

Valerie and Vicky with their father, John, in Illinois, autumn, 1961.

Mule Deer

Originally from Moments by Valerie, a collection of memories (1961-1983), written in 1986 and presented to Larry on their first anniversary.

We were camped in a mountain canyon in Utah, next to a sparkling stream. There was a lot of wildlife but we mostly saw only hints of it: porcupine-damaged trees, deer tracks, a dead rattlesnake. One morning, waking to a clear, sunny day, I walked down to the edge of the creek. On the opposite side, a large mule deer buck raised his head from drinking and stood for a moment, deciding whether to run or not. He was magnificent, all muscle and antlers. His short coat was soft gray but his eyes were a glistening black, as was his wet nose. He gave a small snort then bounded off up the opposite slope.