The Enemies Among the Trees


They are out there, I thought ominously as I scanned the tree line. I stood at the bedroom window, running my fingers along the satiny curtain. It was very elegant feeling and refined—the opposite of the animalistic behavior outdoors. A war was going on. In fact, I had been the one to declare it only the day before.

I. Do. Declare. War.

This was no card game. Everyone has their breaking point. A person can only take so much disrespect. The insults reached their apex yesterday. I discovered it when I was walking the perimeter, and stumbled across the gaping hole.  A wide, gaping hole of tattered wire. To break a fence is less than neighborly behavior, but to trespass in a place you know has a barrier around it specifically because of you?  That is an act of war. And so it began.

I walked slowly through my yard, taking in the evidence. There were bits and pieces of a trail to follow. I brushed my hands along bruised or damaged leaves and twigs as though my hand was a hound dog’s snout.  It was important to document every piece of the insult, in order to fully validate my anger.


I needed a plan. I wasn’t exactly in a position to counterattack, but I at least needed some defensive measures. Clearly a fence wasn’t enough. A brick wall? Some barbed wire? The situation was escalating by the second in my head. A moat.  That’s what I need.  A proper moat to protect my castle from the barbarians.

A moat, unfortunately, is not something that comes together quickly. Certainly not one with alligators in it. So at night I lay in bed, restless, wondering how my property was being defiled while I tossed and turned.  What were those deviants up to? What, by morning, would be damaged beyond repair?

The Great Battle Among the Trees

So there I stood at the curtain, and I could feel their eyes. They were watching.  They knew I was watching. The sunrise had smeared pink across the sky like some sort of dramatic announcement.  I felt the call to action. The great battle had come: it was time to face them.

My feet hit the cool dew on the ground, immediately collecting wet grass that would stick to me like my companions for the dramatic moments ahead. I passed the chicken coop and the girls clucked at me, but I didn’t blink—I had no time for such things.


I walked on, eyes focused. Footfall after footfall, they sensed my presence. I could imagine their ears turning in my direction, knowing the intensity of my movement with those animalistic senses.  They emerged, cautiously.  Black eyes stared forward. An ear twitched.

Then something unexpected happened. Something inconvenient. I wrinkled my forehead in frustration.  Damn it, enemies—you aren’t supposed to be cute.

The Beauty Among the Trees

Two little ones trotted forward, legs awkward and a tad disproportionate. Spots like an artist cleaning off her brush were dabbed across their small backs. The mother turned her face toward me, and a stately elegance was in her stance, not unlike my satin curtains. Her strong body held her position exactly. The curve of her face and the angle of her forelegs—she was a specimen of wild beauty.

“I didn’t really need those beans you ate. And you only got a few of the sunflower leaves—they will recover. I will just get some heavy-duty wire for the garden fence, so as we don’t have any more disagreements, alright?”

She blinked at me, then pointed her nose to the air and let out one strong snort.  It was something like a horn that collected her troops. Then she bolted, and the others followed their queen.


I walked back to the garden, my bare feet having collected all the more grass. I looked at my bedraggled bean stems and my damaged fence, then took a seat on the ground to admire the pink still smeared in the sky.

They are out there, I thought happily as I scanned the tree line.  

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