I awoke into the dream on the back of a great stag, utterly spent, draped over the creature, at rest. The moon was new, and we were in a forest clearing, dark, dark, dark. I could vaguely make out the treeline forty paces away. A wolf bounded into view out of the dark, and in a single, graceful leap, tore flesh from the stag's side near my hanging foot.
And another. And another. A pack of wolves, feasting on this deer. I was too tired to lift my feet away from the wolves, and afraid for my life and that of my friend.
"It's okay. You can rest. I'm here, giving my life to these hungry animals, so you may keep yours."
My eyes filled with tears of gratitude for the love of this stag. It was not my time to be pulled down by the wild wolves, to return to the dark.
Where the flesh tore away into their jaws appeared lacy, delicate, nearly hand-spun and crocheted.
Two huge, soft haired hounds pulled me from the skeleton of the deer, and escorted me home.
The soil is fertile now, where the deer stood and bled and fed the forest, and a hawthorn branch sprouts from the spot.
Printed on French Paper co.'s Speckletone coverweight, with Epson SureColor ink. Original painting is watercolor, pen and acrylic on cold press watercolor paper.