We found footprints at certain points along the trail, and the footprints were not ours. And even though they were new and hadn’t yet been covered by the increasing white, we never saw their owner.

And so it was just us, and occasionally those footprints, and the falling snow and the wet cold.

And often we ran way ahead of the Bald Man. Because it felt urgent to do so, and necessary, and like something we had to do. And then he would yell “Hey!” And his voice was loud and it stretched through the trees and was everywhere in the silence.

And I would run back to him. Because I am good at listening.

And because he surely needed me.

He doesn’t like to be left alone.

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