10 April 2005

Mmm, tasty

"Hey, look out the window!" I called out.

"Which one?" my parents shouted from downstairs.

"Towards the birdfeeder, look at the ground!"

There was rustling as my Dad got up and then the swish of metal rings against the rod. I stood next to the desk I use in my father's study, watching a deer enjoy a twilight repast on a small hill in our yard. The deer had chosen a cultivated area; though it's mostly dirt now, a few green shoots have emerged from the soil and will soon bloom if they are not eaten.

Mom hollered, "I'm sorry, Claire, but I'm going to shoo it away!"

I expected as much as and was not disappointed by her choice; my parents spend a lot of time gardening and do not appreciate critters of any kind eating their hard work. The screen door clanged, and the deer looked up, but did not move. "Go away," she yelled. The deer looked around and then back at her as if to say: Are you talking to me?

She clapped her hands a few times, repeating her command in various forms until the deer made some startled jumps away from the hillock. "Shame on you for eating my plants," she said as the deer leapt into the forest.

The springy jumps reminded me of hurdles and race horses, so much power in the legs. A couple of hundred feet away, the deer stopped and was joined by another. "They didn't go very far," my Dad commented. After a few more minutes, they went deeper into the wood and disappeared amongst the trunks; I'm sure they'll be back.

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