When I walk I think and when I want to think I will always walk. I find it meditative, inspiring as well as organizing. My movement, the air, the rain, the wind or the sunshine, it stimulates my thoughts and allows them to gain form and sequence. Today I was walking and thinking about an article I was writing. I was totally engrossed, not fully aware of my surroundings.

Coming over the brow of a field I startled – I’d stumbled across the red deer, not just a few, but the whole herd, spread over two fields. I stopped with a jolt, the dogs and the deer too. We were all, so it seemed, completely surprised by one another. I waited as the realization of human and dogs sunk in and after a few stops and starts as one they moved in a rapid surging wave back into the forest. I walked on, across the culvert and along the stream bordering the forest. I felt a movement, turned and saw the outcast, moving slowly and hesitantly back into the forest, way, way behind the others. A fully mature ‘white’ hind though a murky dirty dun colour. She drags a withered hind leg. Perhaps an injury from a rifle shot or from being caught up in barbed wire. She seems to have no fear, watching us closely, staring intently. Is this because she hopes for companionship or because she wants an end to her sad life? I don’t know, I’m not sure. Eventually she moves slowly into the shadows…alone.