Presently the wild and free creature is killed. In the encounter, the beautiful moment passes. In the hunter's reckless desire to capture the animal, the animus escapes.

For hours the taxidermist works to find it. He eviscerates the corpse. He peels back the skin carefully, scrapes away the gristle and fascia. He salts, pickles and tans the husk. A lightweight form is constructed from paper-mache, plaster or styrofoam, and the skin is draped and stiched carefully over it. A few sham props are added such as a plastic tongue and glass eyes. The taxidermist finishes the work with a few touches of paint and gently brushes the animal's coat smooth.

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Copyright 2015 Matt Bergstrom