Shadows

Dusk was falling on the back country road. The old car rattled on the washboard surface. Susan was driving, giving Carl a break. It had been a long and discouraging day. A shadow moved across the road ahead of her and she slowed. Carl opened his eyes.

“I thought I saw a deer,” she told him. “Up there on the left.”

He leaned forward, scanning the bank. “Stop a minute,” he said. “Look right there, next to the big ponderosa.”

She braked and looked, blinked and looked again. “That’s not a deer,” she whispered.

He shook his head. “It’s a cat. A big one.”

“A cougar,” she said. “Awesome.” And then there was nothing to see but shadows, rocks, and trees.

They grinned at each other. What a great day.

from Moreno Valley Sketches II

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