He’s white. Like snow. A neighbor calls him Casper. Though he moves like a small ghost, slinking through the vineyards, he’s not friendly. Maybe he was once, but life has dealt him a weak hand, and he has to play it where it lays.
Like any good hunter he’s familiar with every tree, and rock, every fox den, and squirrel drey in his travel radius. He has his landmarks. I see him resting by the cairn of flat rocks my niece constructed last summer. She buried a treasure, the feather of a blue jay. The cairn marks the spot. Out of the path of the vineyard tractors I imagine it staying in place until she’s grown. She’ll forget it ever existed. Until one year while she is in the midst of a life-altering decision, I’ll lead her to it. Seeing it again will flood her with memories, all those carefree days of childhood. Miraculously, her decision will be made clear. These things happen.
By then, by the time she has set aside her stuffed animals, and taken on the demands of adulthood, the white feral cat will be long gone from his hunting grounds. But, she will remember him. She’ll remember how we tried to adopt him, how we left him offerings of food, how we spoke soothingly hoping to coax him to come near. But, he was too far gone, his fear of humans too pronounced.
in the wild
the hunter and the hunted
memories of moonlight
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