Monday, July 25, 2011

Advising the Baby Deer

Our yard is graced by woodland creatures. We see red fox, very timid, who race away through the cool morning twilight whenever they see me head out for the newspaper. There are bunnies and a few people swear they've seen mountain lions, but we've never spotted one in five years, or any sign of one. We get the most joy from the regular visits from the deer. It's especially wonderful when their fawns are born.

This year our herd only had three new babies, twins from one of the does and a single baby from another. Until today, they've only visited with their mothers. Today the three came together to our yard to play without any adult supervision. I guess they're growing up, but haven't lost their spots yet. I went out to sit on the deck after dinner and they all scampered through the pines away from me, then stopped at a safe distance. There they turned and stood looking at me.

I moved slowly, sitting at the table on the deck and said, "Hello, deer. Don't you all look wonderful tonight!"

I always talk to them, using my most nonthreatening voice. I treat them like they should expect people to talk to them. Gradually they wandered back until they stood in a wary group about ten feet from me, heads canted, listening. I told them we were planning to take a trip, and would be gone a month. I asked them not to forget me while we were gone. To take care of each other, and keep growing strong. I suggested they listen to their mothers, even when they didn't like what they were hearing.

Have fun together, I said, and be glad you have family and cousins around. That's important now, but will be more important in the future. And make sure you take care of yourselves, because winter is coming. I know it's been hot lately, but when the snow starts to fall, it will balance it out. I explained that I clomp around in the yard once the snow covers the ground, so they should get used to seeing me around the yard, and not just on the deck.

With a rustle and a bark, one of the mothers came through the shrubbery and pines. She stood and watched for a minute, then turned to leave. "Hi there, Mama," I called. She looked back, but kept moving. I wondered if she is one of the babies from the last five years, all grown up. Impossible to tell.

As the three from this year's generation fell into line behind her, I realized how contented I am to be living here. The feeling comes over me often.


Patricia Stoltey said...

This is a wonderful story, Kathleen. I'm going to link to it in my Wednesday Scramble post tomorrow.

Dean K Miller said...

Awareness, peace, joy and comfort in the world immediately around us. The true heart of happiness, double when shared.

BTW: I talk to the animals and fish when I'm on the river. I'll tell them to say hi when they wander over to your place.