this morning she was there. i say she, but i don't really know for sure. i just have a feeling. so there she was, just like nothing had ever happened, even after flying away in the dusky evening light of solstice, spending the night away, away somewhere. there's no way to know where. had the campfire scared her away? we wondered. but there she was in the early dawn, eating the food i'd left out, as white and beautiful and stoic as ever. james and i both celebrated, because secretly we would love for our little farm family to grow. and secretly, we like our animals more than most people. so we celebrated, because we had won her over, if only for another day. i built a nesting box from an old green-painted cabinet, brought it up on the highest wooden ladder i could find, and shaking, screwed it into the back side of our building, high high up as she watched from above, hoping there she could find refuge from the wind and the rain, clinging to life clammy-palmed precarious on that tall wooden ladder..