Chapter 6 No Love of Music

Yassin picked up a handful of wood shavings and let them trickle through his fingers. "This is all that the scavengers have left of a Red Deer—only the wood dust from its stomach.

"So you see, because there were no wolves, the deer became too numerous for what little forage the winter had left, and so they killed the trees in a vain attempt to stave off their own death." Yassin knelt beside Amaris Dahia and looked into her eyes. "And when the forest dies, where will the birds make their nests when they return from their winter homes? And without the birds, what will become of their songs?" He tossed the wood shavings into the air and watched as they scattered on the wind.

A cloud passed over the sun and a light rain began to fall. Small black pools formed in the snow. Yassin crouched, transfixed by the disappearing whiteness. The water beaded in his hair and on his nose and ran down his cheeks. Amaris Dahia thought he looked as if he were silently weeping.

But it was only the rain.