|At the Edge of the North
|The Edge of the North Woods
I stood looking into the woods on that cold winter morning. Clouds
hovered low in the sky, gray and bleak, with the promise of snow.
Pulling my coat close, I began my journey.
I had moved to the area only a few months earlier. A small house at
the edge of town was available for rent. I loved it and moved right in. My
new home had a fireplace that kept me warm and comfortable. A giant
oak tree stood guard in the front yard.
Now, it was late winter, the day was drab, but I decided to go for a
walk. This particular morning was the perfect time. I knew of a wooden
walkway that would take me through the woods. I quickly found it. “Okay
girl, let’s get going,” I whispered, hoping for a light snowfall.
I enjoyed my walk, easy going because of the wooden pathway. I
was able to study the deep woods. The deciduous trees were bare,
silently waiting the warmth of spring. The forest was full of conifer trees
stretching their rich green boughs toward me as I walked along.
A pair of cardinals perched on a limb and I heard chickadees
chattering. Scampering through the leaves, black squirrels played.
Occasionally, they stopped and studied me.
Then, something caught my eye. “Oh!” I gasped, as a large buck
strolled into view. I froze in place, as not to alarm him. His antlers were
massive; I counted ten points. What a majestic creature, I thought. He
I was thrilled when I noticed snowflakes floating to earth. How
absolutely lovely the woods were. I watched the deer until he walked
deeper into the forest and was gone.
The boardwalk took a wide turn to the left and I saw a meadow far
ahead. I walked on. My walkway ended at the edge of the woods. I
noticed something across the meadow. Just behind a group of Aspen
trees, there was a flash of white.
Whatever it was, it startled me. I stopped and watched for it to
reappear. I gasped, “What is that?” I stared in wonder. Quietly walking
through the grove of Aspen, was a small doe. I could not believe what I
was seeing. There, stopping to nibble twigs from young saplings, was a
perfectly white deer. I was mesmerized. I held my breath in awe, when
a white buck lifted his head.
I stood as still as I could, as they turned and looked at me through
the falling snow. Behold, I thought, I am gazing at a pair of exquisite
creatures who live and thrive in this wonderland of the north. I must have
stood on that boardwalk for an hour. The pair quietly disappeared but I
had to know if there were more. About the time I decided to turn back
toward home, I saw movement. A moment later, several pure white deer
appeared. What a sight. They looked like ghosts moving about, drifting
along with the falling snow.
I finally pulled myself away and returned home. That evening I
searched the internet. There they were. Called the Ghosts of the North
Woods, they flourish. Many folks have ventured into those woods and
have seen them, photographed them and have written books about
them. I was happy to learn that they are protected by law and cannot be
I later enjoyed the warmth of my fire place. How lucky I was to
have witnessed such a breathtaking sight, I thought. I am one of few
who can say, “The Ghosts of the North Woods are a phenomenon that is
The above story is fiction, but the white deer do exist in the north
woods of Wisconsin.
By Kathleen M. Brosius Copyright October, 2012