As the leaf turns. Fear.
Oh, this could pass for the intro of one of the slasher movies: fading light. a slight drizzle, and scraggly underbrush.
Whoa! He flung up his arm defensively. Then looked quickly around to make sure no one saw.
(He kept thinking someone was watching)
Only a group of startled doves.
Yeah, just like a movie.
Shoulders shrugged – to show nonchalance.
Just in case.
In case someone was watching.
He hoped he didn’t get the directions mixed up.
A hesitant thought. Unsettled.
No. She said they were meeting over here.
(The regular place was boring: too many tourists, too much traffic.)
They were young – ready to break from that herd.
A woodsy offered a chance to “socialize” more to their liking
Away from prying eyes and rebukes.
No one could be watching.
He shuffled through the clumps of damp leaves on the path wishing he had avoided that bush. Now his coat was wet.
He wasn’t really cold. No.
A vague suspicion that this was some sort of game?
And he was the target?
He was sure.
He’d spotted her a day or two ago: cutest one of the bunch.
She smiled at him.
Those warm doe eyes.
Still it was so quiet in these woods.
His toe caught a root.
He angrily kicked trying to free his foot from the tangle of stickers.
Great. Now mud up his leg.
How impressive will that be?
He’d hoped to cut her from the herd.
Real debonair and suave now.
He jerked his head up.
Calmed the stiff hairs on back of his neck.
It was nothing.
(Why did it seem like someone was watching?)
She said there was a clearing. And someone always brought food.
So here he was.
Against better judgement?
Left shelter and warmth behind.
On his own.
But she took the first step when they crossed paths the other day.
Looked invitingly at him.
Before trotting off with the others.
The trail spilled into the clearing.
They all froze as he crashed forward: a serious deer-in-the-headlight moment.
There were a couple of older guys.
But they dismissed him as a non-threat.
And went back to jostling for admiration of the lovelies surrounding them.
He spotted her, lifted his head, and started towards her.
She pivoted shyly. Dancing on tiny ankles.
Suddenly heavy footsteps – not by ones trying to hide their approach.
And a low voice.
“Why, this is a fine gathering.
Aren’t you afraid of being found?
You are aware this spot is being monitored?”
Several of the heavy louts plodded forward – inspecting the scattered food.
He noticed the older guys had already slipped away with their chosen admirers.
She moved closer to him trembling.
For good reason.
The bulky newcomers had orange lettered messages sprawled across their sides: COW.
“Look, Bambi,” one of them moaned, “we’re doing you a favor.
There’s trail cameras all over here and the bang-bangs are on the way.
So take your doe and run.
Run, Bambi. Run!”
His instinct was right all along: someone was watching!
A real horror story!
Outdoor cameras assist hunters in locating that hard to find mature trophy bucks.
This technology certainly puts an end to romance.
(Uh, seems to be getting really close to shooting fish in a barrel, but that may just be me….Anyone interested in bow hunting – without the cameras? More sporting?)
But to finish tracking these deer:
This Romeo, with his left broken antler stub and right antler little more than a prong and a branch, bucked up his courage, looked both ways, and bolted across six lanes of traffic on Egret Bay Drive.
Made it safely to the lakeside nature preserve.
His little Juliet watched with soft brown eyes from the forest underbrush.
There’s plenty of food and, although someone’s watching, the only thing shot is photos.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Technology being used for deer good:
“Game warden cases: Frida Kahlo and Facebook fools? Must be deer season“. Game wardens read Facebook, too. (Duh, dude). Get some chuckles here.
Visit some calmer pastures:
Wander over to visit a real live deer, Daisy, trying to make it in the world. (Hunt Daisy here.) She’s got some lovely glamor shots posted. Sigh, she’s growing up and dating now – and there’s a loose pack of feral dogs in the neighborhood. Fortunately she knows who her friends are.
Can’t have too many friends. Thanks for hiking over today!