It was the shortest day of the year, and the early morning light was still soft and gauzy, reflecting last night’s light snow – the first of the season. His exhalations condensed before him as he climbed and watched her, his footfalls making a soft crunch that was muffled by the pine needle ground cover.
He had a ton of things to do in prep for the week – food shopping, gift wrapping, getting the guestroom ready, acquiring stocking stuffers. Which he supposed was why he was out here – to blow off a little steam. He raised the scope and spotted her again. Standing stock still near some dense brush. She saw him, knew he was there.
“Aww, forget it, pup, it’s Christmas for everyone. Let ‘em go!”
She yipped and broke, and ran to him, the pair of doves flushing noisily into the brightening sky.
“Let’s go home.”