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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 3, September 2013


Gary LeBel
Cumming, Georgia, USA


“Aw, c’mon!” he says, “Don’t be a chicken.”

“I ain’t no chicken,” I say.

He says, “Prove it.”

I aim carefully, holding my breath like he taught me.

I pull the trigger nice and easy                     BANG!

then down
     through the leaves it falls
          with a muffled, heart-stopping thud.

It’s silvery gray, looks soft and surprisingly clean for a rat’s step-brother, its glassing eyes still bright with fear and acuity. There’s no bullet hole I can find, just one small spot of blood staining the fur on its pristine breast.

“You did it!” my cousin yawps. “Yup, I did it,” I say, and I never hunted again.

first snow—
the squirrel descending
shakes its feet



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