Open Letter to My Deer

Seriously guys? I like it quiet in the morning! Don’t you think I have enough chaos with the mutts and cats and fish? What I enjoy the most when I begin my day is to look at all of you, beautiful, trusting, and peaceful? Peaceful? Does it ring a bell? What I don’t want to see when I open my beautiful eyes in the morning it two high testosterone bucks fighting with each other in my front yard!

They freaking scared me this morning! I was leaving the house, and here were those two morons trying to kill each other. They did not mind my truck, my screams (don’t worry my neighbors know I could be nuts sometimes!) or my high beams. I sure was not going to get out of my truck to get impaled on one of their antlers! Finally, I got it. The two morons were not going to stop but if I managed to have the doe out of the way, maybe they will stop! Sure enough, it did not take much to get the girl out of the picture. The bucks were still at it, but suddenly became more aware of their surroundings. One of them, suddenly, bolted out and ran away in the woods. The other one snorted a few times, then went after him but without much conviction!

When I got home, I went straight to my computer and my best friend Google. What else does a girl need when she has Google? Google never talks back, and just answered questions. I am in love with Google! Anyway, that’s how I learned that yes, bucks can kill each other for a girl! Hello? Which century are you living in guys? Dying for a doe? Not worth it, I can tell you this right away! On top of it, in two weeks, you won’t even think about that doe anymore and you will hang out again with your buddies! I mean if you haven’t killed them before.

I also learned with my beloved Google that young bucks don’t fight, only the old ones. Get that picture? A love war for senile bucks with arthritis and worst? Gosh, and they don’t even need Viagra!

In the afternoon, a doe was eating some apples while two big – meaning senile ones – were pacing around her. She did not seem to mind, eating peacefully her apple. One buck had a mean expression on his face (the kind of face you don’t want to meet at night in a rural area!), and his eyes were following the whereabouts of the other one who was wandering around, not getting too close to the doe, but wandering like he minded his own business when, probably the only thing he could think of was how to get the doe! Senile dirty old guys! I kind of broke their testosterone spirit when I stepped outside to change the water in the birds’ bath. The doe went one way, while the two bucks were wondering if a good fight for nothing would still be worth it.

I love “my” deer. They are not mine ok DNR? They are not domesticated! They don’t live in my house, they don’t sleep on my couch! They are just the majestic habitants of my front field. So don’t you try to kill them under false pretenses?

I know we have a lot of deer, and I mean a lot. They say it’s because they have no more predators, but they also have no more land to go to. So, they adjust to their new habitat: living close to the humans. Hunting might be necessary. I am not a hunter, and no matter what I cannot understand how you can kill any living beings, but that’s me. I am just a girl probably too sensitive, who doesn’t understand why the state of Maryland authorizes hunters to bait the deer and kill them while they eat. I don’t call that hunting, I call that slaughtering, but again, it’s just me.

I have a friend who is Native American, and he used to be a hunter. His grandmother was always telling him that he will stop hunting when the animals will talk to him, and he thought she was getting senile. One day, he was somewhere in the woods, after hiking for hours, and suddenly in front of him, a few hundred feet away stood a beautiful buck, 8 points, meaning big. He got his gun, was aiming at the buck, when suddenly the animal turned around, walked towards him a bit, stood there, and looked at him. Not moving, nothing, just staring. Easy shot. My friend lowered his gun, and walked away. It was the day he stopped hunting. Unfortunately his grandmother had already passed but I am sure that from wherever she was, she was smiling. My friend is a big rough guy, but each time he tells this story, some tears just tried to make their way to his cheeks.

So, yes, I love to watch them. I know it’s lame but this is the truth: I have never been hurt by an animal, any kind of animal. I have been hurt by people, yes, but never by animals. I respect them, I don’t try to tame them, I just let them be. In exchange they gave me their beauty and their grace, ok, except during the rut season.

It’s fall, it’s rut season. The does are still dragging behind the fawns from last spring, and are probably already pregnant with the next one. Nature is tough.

Some see them as a nuisance (that’s personally what I would call a lot of humans!), I just see their grace, their gentleness, and I still remember fondly one summer day a few years ago, I was gardening in the front yard, totally in my thoughts when suddenly someone softly nudged me on my shoulder. I turned around and saw that beautiful doe. There is a reason we say “doe eyes”. She went a few feet away, grazing some grass. No clue what the meaning of that nudge was, but it was just a moment to remember: the doe that trusted me.

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