I felt the presence of something numinous in the garden as I opened the door and stepped out.
There was a rustle in the brush of something just disappearing on the periphery.
And then I saw the deer, a female, quiet, unafraid.
She slowly walked out of the garden and behind the house.
There was a rustle in the foliage right under my feet where I had noticed only dead leaves, golden and brown and still damp from the night's rain.
A rabbit in its Fall coat, blending with the foliage, skittered off.
And then I saw her, not too far away and not too near, so wondrous on her four paws and her tawny fur –-
a lioness right there in my garden!
But I saw right away that one of her eyes was bloodied and bruised.
And standing right next to her was a small boy, unknown to me, repeatedly hitting her in the eye with a club.
I became suddenly anxious, my mood shifted.
And I worried that the lioness would tire of her own patience and turn on the child and attack him.
But the lioness refused to use her power against the child.
And I stood in awe trying to decide what to do.
What would you do?