Cliff had told me to wake him before daylight so he could hunt, on this opening day of deer season; not an easy task, since he doesn't go to bed until 1 AM. I got it done though, and approached him with my idea:
"Would it be OK if I go along? I'll be really quiet, I promise."
What was he going to say? So we bundled up (a little too much bundling, as it turned out. We both got hot). I made sure the horses were shut in their pen, because there'll be lots of shooting for the next several days. I left Mandy in her overnight pen, knowing she'd want to go to the woods with us, and likely scare off any deer that might be around.
We were almost to the woods where Cliff planned to settle in when we heard leaves rustling and looked around to see Mandy's best friend, Buddy. I don't know how he knew we were back there, but he did. So much for deer.
We sat tight, hoping Buddy would go away. In fact, he did range quite a distance from us. Every once in awhile you'd here his sharp "Bark, Bark... Bark Bark" in the distance, as a squirrel eluded him and taunted him from the treetops.
Once, while Buddy was out of sight, we changed locations. Maybe he'd forget about us.
It wasn't ten minutes before we saw him, nose to the ground, tracking us to our new spot. When he looked up and spotted us, his tail wagged deliriously. He was so proud of himself for finding us.
We didn't see any deer, but it's pleasant in the woods, hearing birds chirp, smelling the woodsy fragrances of autumn. This time of year, we don't have to worry about mosquitoes, ticks, or snakes.
We did hear other hunters shooting in the distance a few times. Probably Buddy flushed all the deer out of our woods and into their laps.
Now, after a breakfast of bacon and waffles, I'm ready for a nap.