Trish’s train of through was broken as movement in the underbrush gave way to a frightened dash across the path. A doe emerged from the lightly wooded ravine, and glanced around. Upon seeing the threatening form of a biped approaching, the doe gingerly stepped back into the forest’s edge.

“How did you manage to get out here?” Trish whispered. The wooded area was a tiny oasis in an urban sprawl, cut off from the nearest state forest by a dozen ribbons of highway.

She waved at it, which seemed silly in retrospect–how is an animal supposed to interpret a gesture like that?–but made perfect sense at the time. The doe bobbed its head; Trish knew better than to interpret the gesture as a response, but couldn’t help herself.

The creature remained there, peering out of the brush, until abruptly melting into the forest once more, without leaving so much as a sign of its passing.