at autumn’s end, frost and dew hanging heavy,
rise at dawn to walk through a hidden valley—
yellow leaves have enveloped the creek bridge,
in the deserted village, nothing but ancient trees—
winter blossoms here and there, sparse and lonely,
the stream’s murmur cut off, then picks up again—
my heart’s desires long since have been put aside:
what is it that startles the milu deer?
Based on Liu Zongyuan: 秋曉行南谷經荒村
Qiū Xiăo Xíng Nán Gŭ Jīng Huāng Cūn
Note: Milu—also known as Père David’s deer—are essentially extinct in the wild, though a small feral population does currently exist in China, composed of a herd that escaped a zoo. Otherwise, the milu only exist in zoos. Dating back to prehistorical times, milu ranged across all of China, though the population shrank steadily during historical times. The milu are sometimes called “sibuxiang” (Chinese: 四不像; pinyin: sì bú xiàng), which could be translated as “four not alike”; they are variously described as having "the hooves of a cow but not a cow, the neck of a camel but not a camel, antlers of a deer but not a deer, the tail of a donkey but not a donkey"; "the nose of a cow but not a cow, the antlers of a deer but not a deer, the body of a donkey but not a donkey, tail of a horse but not a horse"; "the tail of a donkey, the head of a horse, the hoofs of a cow, the antlers of a deer"; "the neck of a camel, the hoofs of a cow, the tail of a donkey, the antlers of a deer"; "the antlers of a deer, the head of a horse and the body of a cow".
Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:“Snow Mountains”: Guo Xi. 11th Century. Public domain.