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I’ve gone to the forest for a walk – a solitary day trip on my day off. I drove down early this morning with a packed lunch, a hat, and my steel canteen. I’ve been walking for hours, lost in the peacefulness and beauty of this magnificent forest with its centuries old sequoias and cute woodland animals. I see squirrels drying mushrooms for the winter and elk wandering through the ferns between the towering trees. I stop near a stream to eat my lunch and refill my water.


It’s time to head back. I pick up my backpack and head back the way to my car. I pick up my pace to outrun the setting sun, still lost in the tranquility of the forest…and maybe in the forest itself. I’ve been walking back for longer than I walked forward. I can’t remember if those mushrooms belong to the same squirrels I saw in the morning. I can’t see anymore elk. I can’t see the squirrels either. I can’t see much of anything as the curtain of night draws in closer and closer. I can hear though, a solitary howl in the distance. And a dozen more answer a moment later. 

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