Heat.  And heat.  And heavy, humid air.  My brother, walking barefoot down the driveway, came back with blistered feet.  Dust lies between the yellowing blades of grass.  The roses, blooming again, have burnt, crisp edges on their velvety petals.  In the woods, fresh, green things grow scarce, and deer invade our garden. 

The deer have no fear of man before their eyes.  On the contrary, we have seen them standing outside our windows, staring in at us, stamping their little feet, and nibbling our monkey grass borders.   They are large and sleek; their tracks in the garden suggest Mr. Tumnus and company, dancing all night. 

The okra plants suggest the passage of a miniature tornado; three days ago they stood in rows of lush shade, now they are stripped bare, twisted, bent double, dangling their tops into the drying soil.  

And so nature lightly leaps a fence, and the sweat of our brows bows before her wild teeth.   And, while I’ll miss the okra plants, well, the gluttonous deer make me smile, too.

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