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Of Deer and Danger

Heading upstairs to the second floor of the house to find some cleaning supplies, I grabbed what I needed and happened to look out the window and saw “it.” I’d seen her before — brown and white, traipsing through our wooded lot as if she owned the property.

Since I had the garage door open and didn’t want her to enter nor to eat my outdoor plants, I hurried downstairs, opened the inside door to the garage and headed to the garage door entry.

I was going to protect my property from — her.

And there she was – taller than my 5’1″ height. She looked at me and I stared back. She looked away then looked back at me. Long periods of stares went back and forth.

All of a sudden the doe looked as if she was marching. One hoof down, one hoof up, one hoof down, one hoof up. Hmmm … being the curious person that I am, I marched too. One foot down, one foot up, one foot down, one foot up. I stomped to match her marching.

The doe stared at me expressionless. Then she did her “march” again. One hoof down, one hoof up, one hoof down, one hoof up. Hmmm … what a silly game I thought. But, okay, I’ll play along. One foot down, one foot up, one foot down, one foot up.

Not to be outdone, the doe repeated her “march” one last time. One hoof down, one hoof up, one hoof down, one hoof up. And I, finding the situation quite comical, decided to march in place one more time. One foot down, one foot … oh, wait. Then I saw it — a fawn who was oblivious to any danger grazing behind the doe.  And that’s when it dawned on me that the doe was protecting her fawn and that this was no game.

Suddenly it occurred to me that this doe was bigger than I was and she had the ability to pounce on me if she wanted to. The situation didn’t seem comical anymore as the doe was about 15 feet away from me.

Remembering my bear training (well, okay — what I saw on TV), I flailed my arms and yelled “get out of here.” She turned and ran with the fawn behind her.

Heading back into the house, I decided to Google for information on doe marching. Just as I had suspected, I learned that this doe was not marching or playing. Instead she was issuing a warning to me — I’m protecting my fawn. She didn’t care that I was trying to protect my property and was totally oblivious to that fact.

Life is funny sometimes. When we think we are having fun, warning signs abound that there is danger. Only when we remove ourselves from situations can we sometimes look back and discern how much danger we were in.

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