15 September 2008

Nice rack, all velvety and new

A snippet from my morning:

The doorbell rang around 11 and it was two utility contractors who are somehow involved in a big line-replacement project around the neighborhood. They just wanted to tell me there was a big deer in my yard. The pair were amazed at the sight of this six-point buck just roaming around the neighborhood, a mule deer intent on getting some calories before the frost comes. "Oh, yeah, we saw a family of six this morning in our yard. I got my daughter up so she could see them."

I ran around the side of the house toward the buck, clapping my hands and yelling skit, skat! or some other nonsense. He bolted away from the garden and into the middle of my yard, so I followed, a-clappin' and a hollerin' until I'd herded him off my spot. I really did not want him to get to the grapes on the back fence before I have a chance to get out and pick them. (I have found great pleasure in my annual concord grape jelly-making ritual; it's become one of my favorite Signs of Fall.)

The three of us stood and admired the buck, who had paused across the street to survey his situation before he loped over to someone else's yard to browse.

"Weren't you afraid of him? That big animal?" the woman asked me, incredulous.

I looked at her. Should I be? I thought, for the first time ever. "No! Not at all." I said, smiling. "They are nervous around us -- we're so unpredictable to them. So you make some noise and they run away."

She shook her head and laughed, looking at me, then where the deer had disappeared. Her fellow worker shook his head to and fro, looking away from us and down toward his feet.

Now I hear this inner voice asking, Should I be afraid of that massive animal? I still don't think so, but there's this brand-new seed of doubt in my gut where there wasn't one before.

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