The man sits alone behind the rock, his camera jammed tight to his eye. He breathes quietly, ignoring the cramp in his left foot. The baby deer in his viewfinder stumbles a little closer and he steadies his already shaking hand. His pale blonde hair falls in his face, distracting him for a second. He shifts his camera and brushes his hair out of his face. He grins as he remembers the ridiculous amount of money he’s being payed to film this deer. “It’ll be the nature documentary of the century” his boss had said to him, back in their London office, “It’ll be bigger than David Attenbourough, more exciting than…than any other nature documentary.” And then he had sent George off to film deer in Wales.
Wales, George thought happily, had to be the easiest assignment he had ever gotten. He began to relax, reaching into his pocket for a granola bar. He settled into a more comfortable position and began eating, the deer didn’t seem to be going anytime soon. He kept the camera focused on the deer, it had settled down too and was watching a bush closely, as if it might be jumped any minute.
The deer itself was very content, it had no idea it was being filmed for the nature documentary of the year. It lay quietly in the grass, munching whatever it was he was supposed to munch and thinking about whatever it was deer were supposed to think about. It was eyeing the bush suspiciously but this not unusual for deer.
The bush itself sat quietly, wishing that George would leave so he could get up and start his day. He was a very important bush, known to his people as Grimbenthorne the Bush. He was leader of the Bush tribe and had meetings to attend and lesser bushes to boss around. Grimbenthorne rustled his leaves impatiently, he was rapidly becoming annoyed at the human who sat there filming a deer with a camera. He knew why George was here, he had heard him muttering to himself earlier. Nature documentary of the century, Grimbenthorne thought scathingly, more like the most boring thing in the history of infinity. He had no idea who would want to watch a deer sitting around, this one wasn’t even doing anything interesting. He wondered vaguely what would happen if he suddenly revealed himself to George, told him the truth about the Bush Tribe of Wales and the living bushes of England. That would be the nature documentary of the century, he thought.
George was getting bored, the deer wasn’t moving and he was still supposed to get another 2 hours of footage. He started to wish he’d gotten the African assignment, Paul was probably filming a wildebeest being eaten by a buffalo or an alligator fight, something more exciting that this. He was filming a deer watching a bush. He wished there was more tension in his life, some major event that would move him forward. He sighed and leaned back against the rock.
Grimbenthorne the Bush suddenly decided that he had had enough waiting around for this peasant to leave. He stood up, as much as a bush could stand up and walked away, deciding it would be best to not look back and to act as though this was a perfectly usual thing for a bush to do. The deer, who was becoming quite used to the bush doing this by now, gave a small start but continued eating grass.
George stared at the bush, which had started doing a weird shuffle away. He grabbed his camera and ran towards, yelling, for a lack of anything better to say, “Excuse me! Where are you going? You can’t just do that.” Grimbenthorne turned to George and said “I’ll have you know I can do whatever I want peasant!” George did not speak the language of the bushes and he merely stared at the bush as it spun around and rustled at him. He kept his camera on the bush, slowly realizing that this actually could be the nature documentary of the century. He had discovered some new life form, a bush that moved and rustled, not the most exciting creature to appear on film certainly but it was new and that was all people watching these films wanted to see. He wondered if he could persuade the bush to eat a penguin or something, people loved those kind of things.
George suddenly stopped, the camera that had been filming the bush slowly lowering to his side. Was this the right choice to make, he thought, was it wise to reveal a living bush to the world? Would it be like that film where the things were revealed and then bad things happened? George paused in his internal questioning to criticize his lack of knowledge about animal films. Perhaps it was Free Willy or Bambi, he wasn’t really sure. Moving back to his brain he continued to question himself, full of self doubts. Maybe, he reasoned, it was destiny, maybe he was in the right place at the right time and he was supposed to be filming this bush. Reaching an important internal decision he threw the camera down aggressively, destroying the footage of a living bush forever. With one last sweeping glance at the clearing he turned his back on the clearing and strode away. The deer opened one eye lazily and watched him go before falling back asleep.
If anyone had seen what he had done and the choice he had made they would have thought of George as a good human, but they hadn’t so in the eyes of the rest of the world he was merely a poor film-maker who had dropped a rather expensive camera.