Bertie goes hunting

Dear beast, luscious of pelt, moon-orbed possessor of the screen-door-unlatching paw, the lurk that twitches in the haunch at every piebald quiver of out-in-the- open; past the fern-flanked porchside boundary, a froth of goldenrod and timothy absorbs his predatory crouch-and-spring, quick- silver underside of memory, the lunge-evoking, paradisal rustle of the underbrush, the just-missed quarry: This vanishings into a history so dense with molecules, so chary of the traceable, you never quite believe the ata- vism's only temporary - that a la the silver lizards Robert Frost purported to have seen cascading down the mountainside in slush-time this time the furry entity you knew, if not quite yet dissolved into a dew, will have surrendered to the texture of that habitat, the slither of its understory. Yet when you call the name you've given him, that like a skipped stone skims the surface of what- ever's out there, something, primed and ready for a game of shake-and-bake, a fondling session, with the inevitable risk of being laughed at - is it habit, is it altogether voluntary? - brings him in a hurry.

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