He built the sacrificial altar himself. Down a trail into the woods about a mile long, he would walk there in all seasons through bluebell clusters or snowdrifts. An erection of moss-wrapped stones drawn from all sides of the forest, he stacked them into a shallow house to the buried god. 

 He tried to offer things of beauty that he’d found on his walks. Heads of flowers clipped from their stems or pebbles shaped by the rush of melting snows. The kinds of sensory pleasures that amuse a child. 

  The requests it made have become far more logistically demanding. The result of the bird’s death was an accidental discovery.

Just once he is waiting for it to say “thank you.”

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