Monday, December 1, 2008

The Buck Stops Here by Barbara Quinn

There was a young buck in my backyard yesterday. What a gorgeous creature. I counted six budding points on his rack. Off in the woods behind him, was a female deer who was probably his mate. This is the time of year that the deer often venture into my yard. There’s a large doe that also comes to the bottom of the feeder. Sometimes she sleeps there at night. I’ve also woken up to see a red fox sitting on the hill back there. I guess they all sense that my yard is safe and a good source of food.

There isn’t much out there in my area for them to feed on, and my shrubs and plantings make the perfect deer buffet. The young buck was munching at the bottom of the bird feeder on the spilled birdseed. My back yard is a large open space and I really don’t think he should get used to being out in the open that way. When he heard my husband open the garage door, he raised his beautiful head and stared at him. Then his gaze followed Tom when Tom returned to the kitchen, and the two of them stared at one another through the large glass window, my gray-haired husband and this young, curious creature. The buck was glorious when he raised his head. What perfect musculature across his chest, what gorgeous coloring, and what a downy coating on those antlers. For a moment I held my breath at the beauty. And then I realized this creature could be shot if he looked at a hunter that way. I wanted to run out and clap my hands to scare him off. Tom moved away and the buck froze. Behind him the female watched the scene cautiously, her head raised. There I was doing the same, watching from behind my own mate. Pretty funny how similar we are. Soon Tom’s car rolled out of the driveway and at the sight and sound the two deer moved back into the woods, but not quickly enough for my liking. At least they had a little fear. It’s so hard to keep them wild when they are so beautiful and near. A part of me wants to befriend them, but I know I must stay away.

I am grateful for their presence not only in my yard, but in the world. I am glad I can provide them with a haven. It’s the least I can do for I receive so much joy from being the beneficiary of magical scenes like this. I am humbled by their beautiful unassuming presence.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Sounds like a scene from Bambi come to life. :)

Kathryn Magendie said...

Gosh, I so know what you mean, Barb - wanting to enjoy them and have them near, but afraid for them.

Sometimes the bear go down into the city and sometimes they are killed and I just hate that. Their habitats are shrinking...*sigh*

Patresa Hartman said...

this is really lovely.

and such a ... what word am i looking for? ... to understand that their survival depends on your restraint -- not befriending them, even though it would make YOU feel good to do so.

i think the word is respectful. i like that.

Barbara Quinn said...

Whenever I see the fawns come through I think of Bambi, Angie. They're so cute.

Kat, yes, it's pretty bad that they have to live in my yard. At least they can't be shot here!

Patresa, thank you! I love your "winner" symbol. We do need a little more respect not just between species but among humans too.

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