Ashley's Clancy portrait

Ashley's portrait of Clancy as a young man

Clancy knew we were almost home. Asleep in my lap, he wakes when he smells home approaching, and he sits tall, head out the window like a dog, squinting in the breeze.  As we navigated the now-rutted end of the “river road” – the middle third of the three mile entry to our part of Norfork, the stretch with nothing but river on one side and hill on the other; the road that collapsed in five places during the spring flooding – I caught sight of a doe and her fawn crossing from the field side on the right to the river side on the left. I slowed. Stopped. Watched. Savored the moment. The two watched back, ears and tails held high, ready but not running. Clancy watched, too – calmly, as if knowing that these creatures he sampled with his twitching nose were too big to be prey. At last, the mom and her baby turned from me and continued toward their destination: an apple tree at the deep edge of a neighbor’s lot. An apple tree I had walked and driven past literally hundreds of times, but had never noticed. It was a perfect “welcome home” gift for a Friday evening…the gift, for one moment, of seeing with a deer’s eyes.

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