Last year I found four stag beetles. One male was dead and a second pretty knackered, wandering in the orchard like a vanquished knight. The third, a female, put in an appearance in my friend Harv’s house. It was the fourth, a feisty girl on a path in the local Big Field that stole my heart. She looked very healthy, but was in danger of accidental or purposeful squashing, so I popped her in a bag and took her home. In my garden I held her for a while and admired her great strength pushing my fingers, yet she sat happily on my open hand. I thought she may fly, but she stayed. I offered her my log pile. She hesitated, adjusted to fly, then, with great purpose, strode from my fingers into the wood. Now I hope she was a mated lady and at some point in six years or so, her children will emerge.
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