The stars hang heavy in the sky, fat and blue as ripened fruit. Brighter than the winter moon’s dim face, they guide my steps along the rutted path. These are the longest five-of-five days, when the sun is a faint whisper of its summer glory. If I’m lucky, the trace is fresh and the Vhern is no more than a few fingers of light ahead. If I’m not– no, best not think on that.
Moonset is still two days away and the dogs need meat to make it through another full-dark. Beans and rice are southern foods, to bland for dogs or men to thrive upon, but those at least we have in bulk. If we come this way again, we’ll split the herd instead. Of course it won’t be as fast, nor as silent, but we’d be well-fed and kept in better spirits. Southerners have strange priorities.