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His steps (so precise) break the thin crust of ice in the grove of dark, bare cherry trees. It’s silent and cold. His father once told him the hunter must move like the breeze.

His hands have gone numb; he carries no gun, but a warped, unreliable bow. He’s searching for tracks, but the matter of fact is that some paws leave no mark on snow.

His quarry’s aground, curled up warm and sound in a burrow deep under the frost. He’s a fool to give chase. Yet he does, with the pace of a man who denies that he’s lost.