She bounded across the abandoned 36-hole, 400-acre golf course. I hadn’t expected an encounter on my October walk. She couldn’t be with the bank, could she? They foreclosed on the property ten months ago. Perhaps she was a guest at Loon Lake Lodge like me? Sam, the former owner, invited his lodge guests, adjacent lakeside condo owners, and the general public to walk on the golf course when players were absent.
Chiree, chiree, chiree a killdeer’s warning pierces the crisp morning air. With a hop and scuttle she moves sideways from our approach. We step onto mottled, ashen-yellow, and grey pavement, the color of her body. She drags an extended wing behind her.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1966
The Freightliner diesel truck turns toward me. Blah, the klieg horn and the squeal of brakes cut through the night. I turn my motorcycle beyond the truck’s brilliant headlights.
“Hey kid, I almost hit you.” A silhouette in the truck’s window leans toward me. “What are you doing here at this time of night?”
Last week, a doe we have named Brownie, dines on acorns scattered across our lawn. I walk toward her. Pop, the firecracker nut announces my approach. Spooked by the alarm, she walks to the woods.
Today, I avoid acorns as I approach her. Other deer lift tails and run. Brownie lingers. I recall my wife, Suzan’s, observation this morning. “Brownie’s inquisitive. She’s different from the other deer. Brownie wants to know us.”
“Hi Ray, I haven’t seen you since high school. What have you been up to?”
“Hey, Richard, great to see you. I pick up garbage for the village.”
“Really? Alone?” I ask.
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a coach, musician, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.