Merrick tracks a small group of elk to an old growth part of the forest, coming to the edge of a depression in the landscape where huge, thick trees almost completely shade a glen with a small lake and beds of flowers.
As he makes his way out of the undergrowth and up to the lip of the pond, he notices the elk on the opposite side. Among them is a large specimen, nearly twice the size of the rest. It’s neck covered in a remarkably thick mane and an unnaturally grand set of antlers on its head, it turns from silhouette to face him: all he can see in the black form are the glow of its eyes as it stares unblinkingly at him.
After a long moment, Merrick looks to the bow and arrow in his hands and back up to the creature. Taking the hint, he slowly removes the arrow from the string and puts it back into his quiver, then slings the bow over his shoulder and shows the spirit his empty hands.
The is a long pause as he starts to notice light sounds surrounding him. Half like dripping water and half the light shake of dried gourds, he begins to perceive tiny forms in the trees and along the lake shore fading in and out of sight, watching.
As he turns to leave, the large stag-like spirit finally turns its gaze away from him and continues to drink from the water at its feet.
When he returns to camp, Merrick sheepishly admits to not managing to find any quarry and a straight stew from the pot of plenty will have to suffice.