Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sweet thing

The guests, sated with happiness and perhaps too much wine, had all left. We cleaned up what was left of the food, then stumbled to bed, leaving the tables and chairs to be put away in the morning. When I opened the door to let the cat out the next day, I surveyed the clutter of lawn chairs, folding chairs, tables and the odd beer bottle. Sighing, and needing coffee, I stepped out to start the clean up. Then froze. We had had an overnight guest.

Actually, Chester found her first.

He approached with curiosity. She was completely unafraid. I watched as they acknowledged one another. He then strolled off across the lawn and she put her head down and tried to blend into the shade. I had not seen her around the neighborhood. But how could I tell exactly? All fawns look alike to me. I slipped back into the house and quietly shut the door deciding coffee was more important.

It turned out this little girl was one of a set of triplets. The mama didn’t know what to do with her or care for her. Three IS a crowd. She was always the smallest of the siblings. While the others gamboled she hung back. I would rarely see the family together. Mostly she was alone.

As she grew older I would often find her tucked into a corner of the lawn. She developed a special relationship with Chester.

They would sniff each other is if to say hello. She had found a haven I suppose. She never ate any of the ornamental flowers or shrubs, so we never resented her presence. In winter we would give her corn. If you clacked the ears together, she would come bounding over the multiflora rose to see what you had for her. Since she never came close or took food from our hands; we would throw the ears out onto the lawn. She would pick up the ears and with her nimble lips spin the ear then spit out the cob. Then with a flick of her tail she would leap away.

She hung around for about 2 years and then one day disappeared. We noticed her absence and worried. But the next spring she returned with 2 babies in tow. Chester went out to greet them. She only visited once.

We expected her to come in the winter but she didn’t. We thought we saw her once far out in the field, but could not be sure. She was accepted into a herd and no longer came to us.

This was over 10 years ago. Chester passed 5 years ago at the ripe old age of 19. I still miss him.

Here on the mountain, I do not let the cats out. They will never know a deer although many come through the yard. They are beautiful creatures. I just wish they would not eat the flowers.


djbrown said...

Oh, so sweet--I feel your surprise, your amazement at having a wild soul at your door. And Chester's recognition of a spirit not so different from his own. Well done.

djbrown said...

Also, great photo--you DO have a gift for this!

Anonymous said...

Sort of bittersweet, the main players being gone and all. Nevertheless an awesome tale, well told and pictured.

Is that the actual fawn in the story. Very much more awesome if it is. Very cool either way.


Bevson said...

Yes, that is the fawn in question as well as Chester, the bruiser himself (at this time he weighed in at 22 lbs). I took that shot the morning of the tale.

Sparverius said...

That is a great story, and a wonderful memory. Thanks for sharing.