Two dozen ghost faces stared down at me from the sun scorched slope. I froze in my tracks with a gasp before my mind could tell me what my eyes were seeing. Floating skulls with black eye sockets shot a wave of seemingly shocking calm energy through me. We stood stock-still, looking at each other. Under my breath I whispered, "Oh! You're beautiful!"
Only the white faces and dark eyes of the herd of wild burros before me were visible against the rocky hillside. Time stopped, sound stopped. I felt the souls of these old desert wanderers. I quickly wondered where they found food and water, wondered who took care of them. My heart was instantly pierced. No one. They needed no one. I wanted to be with them, to run, to be free, to hide in plain sight and stand self-assured when discovered.
Slowly the spell lifted. One by one they broke away on their journey over the hill crest, without me.