Midnight Gardener

The Midnight Gardener arrives in February to trim back willow and alder branches encroaching on our paths.

Mule ears prick toward every sound—her nostrils flare, two craters in a prodigious roman nose. Our gardener leaves a trail of cloven imprints in her lumbering wake, and her long, stiff shanks carry a gaunt frame draped with a brown blanket. Dark and light fur-blends highlight her fetlocks, legs, belly and shoulders.

The gardener’s bony chest, angular hips and sharp backbone mark her as a survivor—or prey for wolves in the remaining hard weeks of winter.

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