Artemis let slipped the loop of the string round the bow end and set her quiver on her back. The daylight was long at this time of year and with all the men gone, she would have no one to bother her until the day was over. She left the horse and made her way toward the north fork of the river, to the eastern-most part of her father’s lands. It was there that the deer hid the high summer.
Artemis began tracking deer almost as soon as she hit the river bed. Chunky rocks gave way to smaller pebbles which in turn gave way to sand. The light dusty bed was perfect to trap the tracks of dinner. Her ears picked up the sound of lizards rustling the heated marsh grass and a movement caught her eye. A white dash tickled her right eye and she looked at the other bank full on, her body completely still. No time for an arrow, she would have to track this one. Suddenly, a great crash assaulted the thick brush and bounded off. Artemis ran.
She quickly darted over the shallow river and into the grasses beyond. Close trees and closer brush made the going difficult but she knew she could keep up. Her lithe legs stretched easily over the branches and fallen trunks as she ran after the deer. She couldn’t tell if it was a buck or doe at this speed but the white meant it was almost certainly old enough, either way. A few more minutes and the deer would be tired. If it would stumble, so much the better. A loud crack to her left caught Artemis off guard. It was she who stumbled and fell into a rotting pit of leaves.