The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 2
- The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 1
- The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 2
- The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 3
- The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 4
- The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 5
- The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 6
- The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 7
- The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 8
- The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 9
- The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 10
Saturday, December 20th, five days before Christmas
The next day Renee got ready, she was going to skip her walk and go straight to the pub. The Arms was only a short walk up from her house, about ten minutes.
Stockwell cottage was a mid 18th century cottage. One of the rooms downstairs was more like a workshop. Renee had it filled with all her materials and tools for making stained-glass windows. It was something she loved doing. She had sold a couple to friends, but hadn’t made much money at it. The cottage had a large main fireplace and working fireplaces in the bedrooms. Despite her lack of attention to other parts of her life, she had kept the fireplaces maintained. There was a cottage garden and a stone fence surrounding the property. If Renee stood out in the garden and looked away from the forest she saw sloping fields and moorlands, no buildings. There was also a barn that belonged with the property, there was hay in it still as her parents did use to keep horses.
Her cottage had a field in the back, and there was a stile to enter the forest the back route, which she rarely took, but mostly she walked along the path by the road to get to the forest.
When she got there, Darrell was in the pub again. When he saw her he waved enthusiastically. She waved back and then went to get a mineral water at the bar before joining him.
“I haven’t been walking but I’m sitting in the muddy boots section. I’m well trained,”Renee said.
“Yeah, what’s with the rules? Doesn’t she have a vacuum?”
“Oh. I don’t know,” Renee laughed.
“Have you eaten? I’ve ordered some appies. We can share them,” Darrell said.
“No I haven’t. I’m starving,” Renee said.
“How was your day?” Darrell asked.
“It was non-eventful but relaxing. I’m on holidays from work now but I haven’t done anything very Christmassy. I haven’t put my Christmas tree up yet. I guess I have been putting it off, or maybe I wasn’t sure if I would put it up this year. What have you been up to?”
“I’ve been doing some more research about the druid caves. I read that some druids believed in reincarnation and that people could come back in another life as humans again, or as part of nature.”
“Do you believe in reincarnation?” Renee asked.
“I don’t think so, but if I did come back, I’d want to come back as a bird of prey.”
“Why is that?”
“Because you get to fly around a lot, and you have big wings, you don’t get pushed around, and you can build a big nest with a fantastic view where nobody bothers you. What would you want to come back as?”
“If we can be part of nature as well and not just an animal or a human I might come back as a tree,” Renee said.
“A tree? Wouldn’t you get bored being in one place all the time?”
“You get to live a long time, and there is always lots going on, with squirrels and birds, and it isn’t as if there is much conflict. There is nobody to argue with, you don’t have to go out hunting for food. You’re not all that bothered about the weather because you are out in it all the time anyway. You would only have to worry about things like forest fires, and people chopping you down.”
“I’d only be interested in building my nest in very tall trees. The kind that are a bit bald on top.”
“I don’t know if I want to be a tree that is that tall, just being a big tree would be fine.” A bar staff brought over a platter of appetizers and some water.
“Today when I was driving back from town, from the library, I saw a Thai restaurant on the way back, it looked like a nice restaurant. I liked the drive out there, the roads were clear. There were narrow country roads and some freeways, but the country roads had stone fences and trees that had lost all their leaves and fields that were snow-covered. It all looked very bleak but beautiful. But I saw the restaurant and I wondered if you would like to go out for dinner there, not that there is anything wrong with here, but to do something different. Maybe tomorrow night?”
“Yes, I would.”
“I will give you my cell number,” Darrell said.”I use my cell a lot, but I am not very knowledgeable about it’s workings.”
“I have my mobile on all the time, but I mostly take pictures and stream music and check the time,” Renee said.
They exchanged numbers and finished their food and Renee walked home.
She had gone home and googled him. She found his name listed under the titles of a couple of books. His last name was Reddan he said. He had also done some teaching at more than one college, one of them in Oregon. She didn’t know why she had googled him, it didn’t affect what she thought of him at all, and she supposed he wouldn’t mind anyway. He didn’t strike her as a person that would have googled himself. Renee shut down her computer for the night. She glanced around at the lounge thinking how Christmas would be here too quickly.