I woke up way too early this morning—stupid daylight standard time!—so I decided to go in the hot tub, in the dark, and just listen to the sounds of the woods behind the house. Sounds aplenty—tons of movement in the woods just past the stone wall. Deer, presumably, since they walk through there all the time.

After a while, I noticed something on the lawn coming toward me. In the dark, it looked bipedal, with skinny legs, a bizarrely elongated torso, and a small, badly defined head. It got close enough that I could hear its soft footfalls on the frost-crunchy grass. Then it just stopped. As far as I could tell, it just stood and stared at me for what seemed like ten minutes. I stared back.

I knew it was a deer, which became clear when it finally turned and I could just make out its lighter-colored belly and neck. But in the dark, standing straight on, it looked more like some sort of trailcam creepypasta. The mind fills in the gaps.

I watched for a while, trying to follow the deer’s movement in the dark. She (I think she was a she) didn’t eat much; she just stood around. Then, a really large, deep grunt from the woods and a bunch of loud crashing in the undergrowth. That put the deer on alert—I could just make out her neck held erect. By this point, I was parboiling in the 104 degree water, but I wanted to see what might happen next. About ten minutes later, there was another grunt, much closer. But then the activity died down and she slowly wandered off. By the time blue hour was beginning, there was nothing left to see.

Freaky, but I’d still rather take my chances in the woods with the bears and cryptids and creepypasta than in areas of heavy human population density. I love the woods.

Oh, and by the way—somewhere around here there is a rooster that knows damn well that Daylight Saving time is BULLCRAP!