Appearing at first, like tree branches moving from hedge-shadow to block me, first of four dark brown figures, foraging. Largest first — body and antlers — perhaps a year older than three companions in adjacent yards, nibbling their way toward the park, feasting on discolored remnants of summer, especially Mountain-Ash berries. Ripe and easily accessible. His younger charges — smaller, less antler growth, less confidence in their stance. Would be interesting to know their deer thoughts — whether “hey guys, let’s keep him away from our berries”, or “feet — don’t fail me now, make a run for it”, or “standperfectly still until this threat has passed”.
This scene got me thinking — wondering if there are parallels in my work, in my life, as I prowl for low-hanging fruit, going slow to not miss anything worth harvesting — while calculating my options in real-time, poised for whatever fight or flight triggers might show up.
Homeward-leg of my walk, half-hour later, still pre-dawn dark, I came around the corner toward my back door — two of them looking scared because they were alone. That big guy was across the street, nibbling on things only he could reach because he was older, taller, and more experienced.
Young buck — term generally associated with youth, zeal, and daring. Sometimes we see them, sometimes we miss their well-camouflaged movements — but they are always there. They see in the dark and prowl in the middle of the night. Like all of us. Looking for something essential to our lives, young ones eat low-hanging fruit, older ones look up and stretch for the higher reward.
P.S.: Today is world heart day – go for a walk, get some exercise. It doesn’t have to be at 5 AM and you don’t need to collide with foraging deer, but you’ll feel so much better if you do than if you don’t.