I strolled about, and in and out,

I tottered the woods in the snow;

My heavenly beard flowing out

No whiter than the snow.

At some time it did pass

Behind the tall trees and grass-

A striking buck with antlers nine,

Gracing the snowy woods divine.

I drew back, death ready to hit,

Thought, “Ah what treat for me to host;”

The antlers adorning my wall well lit,

Quite an adventure for me to boast.

It did think I was his friend,

There and then all rush stood still;

It came close to thinking, “it’s my end,”

But yes it did amidst all chill.

Breathe the air enveloping my arrowhead,

It’s a magnificent sight to behold;

Introspecting if I still want it dead,

Its lifeless carcass on the snow that’s cold.

There and then all rush stood still,

My body said, “Stop.”

With merely half a mind to kill,

See arrow missed, my bow did drop.

In my shoulder, it did poke its snout,

Hugged me like my next of kin;

Turned back and left unlike a rout,

With its head higher than mine has ever been.

I wouldn’t regret but only rejoice

For maybe I made the right choice.

 —Vaibhav Thakur

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