You're out for a walk with your owner. Not exactly a walk, more a galloping, gambolling frenzy of activity, all bouncing legs, flapping ears, manic tail and hypersensitized nose.
You're through the gate. The slope below the rough coastal path falls away steeply to Loch Torridon. The native trees planted a few years back are flourishing, protected from the voracious grazing of the local deer and sheep by the six foot fence.
You are let off the lead.
Your owner is happy, enjoying the rare sunshine and the midge-deterrent breeze, admiring the majestic, glacier-sculpted Torridonian mountains, lost in a Precambrian reverie.
You detect a faint, enticing whiff of large mammal. All senses now on high alert, you hear a rustle in the undergrowth, catch a momentary glimpse of antlers disappearing into a thicket of larger, older pines and birches.
You seize the forbidden moment and make off in pursuit.
You expect, half hope, your owner will join the chase. But no, she stays on the path, calls "Bertie, COME!" a few times but you affect not to hear.
You feel a pang of guilt and wonder whether to return. But the scent of the deer and the instinct to chase is strong. Your owner is out of sight.
The ground is steep and rough. You stumble between massive boulders. The trespassing stag dances lightly over the heather that for you is tough, scratchy and impenetrable. You know deep down that this is not an even contest. You are by now disheartened, panting and even trembling a little.
You think of your owner, of the bag of treats she always carries. Where is she? Suddenly the hunt seems less important.
You panic a little, zigzag back up the hill and find the path. Your spot your owner, just a few yards away, perched on a smooth slab of gneiss, waiting patiently.
You expect a treat. None is forthcoming. Your owner pats you on the head, but in an offhand, slightly frosty manner, and continues to walk along the path.
You follow, closely.