Sunday, July 19, 2009

A deer in the house.

Deer in the house.

The door is open to our little cabin in the big woods and I hear a thump as I approach. We have an intruder! My first thought is that a squatter has moved in while we were away but instead of pausing to consider the dangers of an abrupt confrontation I stride to the door and fling it wide! A young buck is scrambling to it`s feet on the braided rug and I am blocking it`s only exit!

Once long ago when our children were young we came home to find that our entire herd of goats had pushed the door open and were relaxing regally on the furniture. Droppings, spilled flour, the remains of an entire baking of bread and a guilty crowd ready to make a break for it! I realized that I had reached cool and collected middle age as I calmly strode through their midst to the other end of the room before screaming “GET OUT!!!” The herd of flapping ears and swinging udders exited through the open door without further damage as though sucked out by a vacuum.

This time I seem to have reached another plateau, or to have returned at last to an earlier self, because I yell the same words while blocking the doorway. The deer leaps to a window, bounces off, jumps up onto a narrow bookshelf, smashing the Venetian blind and spilling books to the floor. I step forward, yelling “NO! NO ! THIS WAY!” and the buck, sliding and stumbling on the varnished floor, leaps past my legs, plunges through some railings with a crash and is off into the forest. For a while.

If this were an isolated incident it would simply pass off as another story from the Big Woods Chronicles, but I am noticing a pattern. This same deer has been jumping fences into the garden and orchard. The other day I chased him around the fenced-in area three times until he hid in my workshop only to come streaking out again as I came near. Today a doe and two fauns came trotting down the driveway and very reluctantly carried on down the hill as I ran at them madly swinging a revving weedeater. Five minutes later they were back, disappearing behind the studio. It`s not just the deer this year either, two peacocks came running up the driveway this morning headed determinedly for the garden gate. Only a last second jet from the garden hose sent then back to the gates of hell from whence they came! Ducks decided to walk up the hill and give the pond a summer cleaning. I feel besieged. It is as though the word is out that the wild is welcome here and no weak protests on my part will change the flow of history. They know something already through the bush telegraph that I have yet to receive notification of in the mail!

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