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Stalking Deer Without A Deerstalker Hat

I thought this was a nifty title because (in some things) I am easily pleased. But I thought I had better get my facts straight about a deerstalker hat (’cause I only really had an image in mind). And I realized that that image was from Sherlock Holmes but, along the way, I found out that Holmes is never described as wearing a deerstalker hat, but that it was the device of an illustrator to his stories. So.
And, to be exact: The deerstalker is a fabric cap with a front and back peak and side earlaps which can be tied up atop the hat or worn down. The purpose of the dual peaks was to protect both the face and the back of the neck from the sun during long periods outside
We can be sure I was NOT wearing such a thing.
 
But the deer are real.
 
I had started down a hill toward a long copse of trees when I saw two fawns quite a distance before me. One bounded into a field but the other stayed on the road. It had to be an optical trick of perspective, but the fawn on the road seemed to be no taller than my knees. It followed the first fawn, but I waited because I was sure there would be a mother deer close by. And, in a couple of minutes, one wandered into view. Now, they had all given me a long once-over, but I didn’t move, so they all went their way. I eventually continued down the hill and along the road.
 
The road turned and I went with it. In a minute I saw all three across a field in the distance. The two fawns appeared to be grazing, but the mother certainly saw me. She stood stock-still and I did the same.
At a guess, we stayed this way for six or seven minutes. That is a long time to stand (for me) but I was in no rush..  The fawns were oblivious to me, but mother deerest did not take so kindly to such constant intrusion. She moved until she was out of my sight line, and then started to cough. Cough and wheeze at the same time. It was an exaggerated call, which the two offspring were ignoring. Their grub must have been good.
 
So I stayed, unmoving, for another few minutes, while the mother deer made this strange (to my ears) noise another half dozen times. Whether by this prompting, or by finally having enough of a feed, the fawns languidly made their way toward her. Soon, all were hidden by the trees.
 
I was relieved to continue on my way.
(image) https//:www.oldmission.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/deer-and-fawns-1020-1.jpg

Pay(ing) Attention To The Other Animals

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A character in one of my novels, Mother Ursula, always refers to the other animals on Earth as the other animals. She is well aware that homo sapiens sapiens are but animals with pretensions – and the Grace of God. She fits in right well in the chapters set in Africa, where the other animals come to the fore. It is the author’s observation that the other animals still hold more sway in Africa than elsewhere on our benighted planet.

So, I pay attention to the other animals.

During a walk in the neighbourhood, a right old rumpus erupted in a parking lot to my left. A man was having a frantic time keeping his dog in check. The dog was on a leash, and actually pulling the man. They were in the middle of the empty parking lot, and I could see nothing to make the dog so agitated. The dog was straining mightily, but it was obvious that, if he broke free, he was not coming for me. He was wishing to get free to dash into an adjoining back yard. I carefully went on my way.

About five minutes later I turned onto another street. Now, I fully understand that the phrase “Can not believe my eyes” is not literal. We say it when we see something extraordinary. However, that was the phrase that immediately came to mind, even as I was seeing what I was seeing.

Part way along the street, an albino deer was standing in the middle of the road. There was not a patch of colour on the animal other than white. Head, body, legs. Looking right at me. Calmly. It stood stock still. Not a twitch.

Well, I did the same. Not a movement. It was about three houses along the street. Blessedly there was no traffic. No walkers. And I at least now knew why the dog had been so agitated. Perhaps it could not trust its senses, either.

The albino deer didn’t move. After three or four minutes, I wondered if it was ill. Somehow stunned. Dealing with some sort of trauma. Regardless, I knew it was not safe for the albino deer to keep standing in the middle of a street. I started to – very slowly – walk toward it.

And it didn’t move.

I went closer and it still didn’t move. I wondered if deer could be rabid. Was its mind gone? Was I in danger? I was not going to confront a hefty deer. I stopped.

About a couple of minutes after I stopped, two fawns came trotting between two houses. Seemingly not a care in the world. They were of a normal deer colour. The albino deer turned and started to trot toward a swath of bushes and trees on the other side of the road. The fawns quickly followed. Exit three deer, as if responding to stage directions.

Those other animals, eh?

 

[Image] http://i.pinimg.com/736x/a2/da/0e/a2da0ee76b4b8d0e8dca30f7f86e93cf.jpg

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