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Trying to fit in

Michael O'Reilly, Royal Oak

At the Christmas tree farm we saw an eight-point buck
walking down one of the rows. Later he was in the
parking lot with a doe and a fawn. They didn't seem
confident with their selection — maybe unfamiliar with the
tradition. But there was the mangy tree on top of their
Ford Explorer. And there was the buck telling the family to get
in, as if an argument had started earlier. He lit a cigarette and
felt for his keys in the red-checkered coat he had taken
from the body of a frozen hunter. The ride home was quiet.

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