Snow Leopards in the Wilderness
For a couple of weeks now, rumors have swirled about strange sightings in the nearby wilderness. Farmers are a rational lot, they cannot afford to be otherwise, so it takes a great deal to tip the balance from thinking oneself to be in error or seeing a trick of the light into a state of uncertainty.
For myself, I find uncertainty all around, and treasure the ability to add all the little bits of light together until I can confirm a dragon, or aelf or, as fantastical as it might seem, a snow leopard.
I have seen pale creatures, two sheep long, watching from far peaks and find myself wishing for my zoom lens and calling the mystery a snow leopard, rather than a long sheep. For a mystery it has been: although in truth perhaps more likely goats or, more likely, fallow deer (both feral escapees, capable of great damage).
Tonight, as I climbed the high ranges, the clouds provided some collateral support to the leopard theory, and I paused a while to admire the coming storm, and almost missed the deer watching me from deep cover.