At night we go out alone to a white hill in moonlight while other kids do homework or watch television. The kid is a mad laughing queen. When she is tired of the sled, she slides on her back, then on her chest, face first, and then she turns and rolls down the hill. I stay at the bottom to agree how marvelous it is and admire the moon.
Then she rolls off course and stops near a large dark bush half way down the slope, looks into the bush, and screams. She runs on all fours like an animal away from the bush while I vanish from the bottom of the hill somehow and appear where she is. What? What?
There is a man in the bush with a knife, she says, and she shows how he holds a knife over his head. I look at her behind me and at the bush in front of me and I don't know what to believe.
She tells me not to go, but I walk out of sight round the bush to make sense of what she tells me. Fresh snow all the way round, until I meet my tracks going off round the bush into otherwise fresh snow.
At home later I will tell the woman it was impossible, that there was no one else there unless he flew, unless he was a ghost, and I will smile when she says a ghost is not impossible, but that's at home. Out here, with the moon and a bush and a hill and the woods, I must convince myself first, then the kid, that we're the only ones out here.
I tie my scarf to her sled for a harness and run us both home. I'm a horse I'm a horse I'm a horse I'm a horse I'm a horse.