The rut starts here

Yesterday: driving the road across 'the tops' from Aultbea to Poolewe we see them - a host of red deer hinds and a solitary stag, up to their hocks in the still-purple heather, all stock still, all heads up, all looking at us.

That time of year already? she says. I wonder how he managed to round up all that lot, I say, (without a trace of envy), for had we not seen the hinds in isolated ones and two high on the hill all spring and summer long?

Is he still searching for more? Greedy boy, and sure to be challenged 'ere long.

I thought of my mother. 'Bryan, your eyes are bigger than your stomach'. Ah well, one good one's much more than good enough for me ... these days.

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