It was the third or fourth day waiting for it. I was there, in the Field of Flowers, for hours… preying on it.
My father told me that he had seen the deer around, a lovely male one; unfortunately, on that occasion, he didn’t have his rifle with him since dad was riding Grey Storm, his finest Andalusian horse.
Dad enjoys spending time with his horses, deep love between them. There’s something between horses and men as much as dogs and men. Mother Earth planned it all from the beginning: to make men fall in love with these 2 faithful species, love at the first sight.
I decided to get up at dawn the next day. I took my rifle and some supplies for the trip. I left home and traveled by foot. I didn’t want Joy, my horse, to make some noise during the hunting. I didn’t even let Rufus, my dog, accompany me, so I could avoid distractions. I remembered Mom wondered about my behavior (I didn’t use to wake up that early on weekends) that day.
It was a two-hour walk. Once I got there, I searched for a good hunting spot to watch and wait. First, I thought of staying in the woods but the Field of Flowers was a much better chance for me to cover both the woods and the open field. Besides, it was full of flowers and I love flowers, the highest point in God’s Creation.
I set a blue picnic cloth on the ground and my supplies on it, mainly fruit. The smell of meat and others could drive the prey away. I laid face down with my rifle in my hands, watching…
However, my plans meant nothing to Nature. So, I waited endless hours and waited again and no prey showed up… I started to pay attention to what surrounded me, I guess my mind needed something to work on.
I was amazed by all the beauty around me. All kinds of flowers and insects. There were black eye susans, blazing stars, angelicas, bee balms, blue lobelias, Canada violets, among many others.
Watching insects traveling from one flower to the next one was a fascinating and fruitful activity. I learned some hunting lessons too. Butterflies landing precisely on pistils like Swiss clockwork. Bumblebees competing against other flying insects for their natural right to nectar. A praying mantis cut its prey’s head off, a sweet feast.
All of the sudden, a noise. There it came!!! My deer!
I got into position, with firm elbows, keen eyesight, controlled breath. My prey was there, on the edge, right on the border between the forest and the open field.
I prepared my rifle, I breathed deeply, I hold my breath, then I knew my shot was on target. I caressed the trigger, gently. I was about to pull the trigger when I saw him, standing there, in the middle of the way. How he dared?!
“Please, DON’T”, the man begged.
I put my arm down to observe his movements. What was this man doing? I realized he was observing the deer, tenderly. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I got into position again, rifle scope once more, and the man had disappeared... so the deer.
That was the first time I saw both of them, my prey and the mysterious man. To be sincere, I couldn’t stop thinking about him for a while. For some reason, he got stuck in my mind.
Days, weeks, and months passed by, and winter came to cover everything with its white blanket.
I was wandering around the Field of Flowers (now asleep) to pick up some wood for the fire of my family’s camp. We love to go fishing during cold weather. I was about to pick up a dry branch when I saw my deer in the distance. I dropped the firewood and ran to our camp to take my rifle. I returned to the place where I saw the deer as fast as I could but trying not to scare my prey. “I hope it’s not gone”, I thought.
Suddenly, a manly voice interrupted my way and thoughts. “Everything is going to be all right, friends, I promise. Here, have some more.” The mysterious man was back; this time, he was feeding my deer and a couple of hares.
I observed the scene for a moment and then I noticed there was love and care in his eyes for those creatures, real love! I thought of leaving, I felt guilty. So, I took a step back, and even though the ground was covered with snow, I stepped on a dry branch at the bottom, breaking it. The cracking noise told him I was around. Therefore, he noticed my presence and my rifle.
“Ma’am please don’t shoot my friends. Don’t take their lives, PLEASE!”
I was able neither to speak nor to move.
“Are you OK? I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to scare you, ma’am.” He made an apology.
“On the contrary, I AM the one who feels sorry”, I tried to apologize.
I explained why I was there. After we introduced ourselves, we started to walk toward my family’s camp. The man was a real gentleman full of a great sense of humor. His personality traits were also enjoyed by all my family members during a good chat around the bonfire.
Once again, my thoughts were occupied by his presence and invasion of love during the winter season until my thoughts for him grew up as feelings in my heart as we were dating.
The third time we met in the Field of Flowers was not at random, we agreed to have a picnic to celebrate spring and our love. This time he set everything for the picnic (I guess it was a hunt but of a different kind: I was the prey this time). He picked up 2 wildflowers and said: “These two flowers represent us, wild and free love that renews itself in every season, and this ring represents my promise to look after you. Would you marry me, sweetheart?”
I was speechless and breathless.
“Today, we celebrate my daughter’s first wedding anniversary with my new son, Aster Green. And I guess I was right all these years, right Jasmine?”, my father said proudly.
Then I recalled my father´s words (said since I was a young woman). My father continued with his speech, and I echoed him in my mind: “a woman needs a male companion to go hunting for her not to become the prey.”
I’m not quite sure about my father’s saying. Maybe, my husband and I have become hunters and prey, all together…