He went into the pine forest with a large axe over his shoulder. His breath clouded before him in the early winter evening. His boots crunched over freshly fallen snow, leaving behind prints that would be covered by the morning. He took his time in the dying light to select the right young tree. Shaking snow off the one he’d picked, he then swept the fallen snow aside as much as possible. He took a few practice swings with the axe before the first true blow hit.