Sunday, October 21, 2012

An understanding

somewhere south of Bedford, VA

Her eyes are night dark, rolled in a ball against milky moon white. In them I see myself with the sun at my back. Her long lashes bat, not in interest as much as curiosity, unsure of my nearness. Neither of us breathes or makes a noise.

She has two children with her, scavenging. Anything they find instantly goes in their mouths to be worked over by tongues eager for flavor. If they notice the silent exchange between their mother and me, they make no indication.

A question sits between us, unanswered. Intentions.

There is no shame in her expression. Fear surely. Life is not easy, evidenced in her ragged edges. She twitches, takes another bite of a piece of fruit, letting her eyes waver from me.

You are safe.

Yes, I mean you no harm.

Ok, but keep your distance. Let us finish and we'll move on.

She shows me her back. Checks on her children. Rummages around for another morsel to chew herself. Quick looks assure her I have not moved.

Leaves rustle on the trees. Birds sing again, sweet & high. The grass shimmers. Cars pass on the road behind us.

She gathers her young.

Thank you.

A slight dip of her head. They walk the few steps to the service road that carves the boundaries of my property. She looks back, then they sprint into the forest. A blur of brown. A flash of white. Out of sight in the undergrowth.

I wait a few minutes longer, my cat, white and black, slinks around the corner and we re-enter our home.

Happy Sunday! We have a family of about seven deer that sleep in our back yard just about every night. They eat what fruit falls to the ground and just about anything they can find in the grass...and I leave them some treats as well. This time of year, the herd gets thinned a bit by the hunters. They had two fawns a couple years ago and they are growing up nicely.

78 comments:

the walking man said...

Good thing my 12 year old granddaughter wasn't there, she'd of taken the shot.

Heaven said...

I like the quiet understanding and words passing on between you and the doe ~ I hate to think that we are viewed by them as harmful invaders or even trespassing on their space. A lovely share ~

Happy Sunday Brian ~

manicddaily said...

Deer are so beautiful and there is a super sweet exchange here. But watch out for ticks! (I was bitten once when pregnant.).

A soft feel of those in-between times here.

It's funny I came on ahead of cows the other day and they are huge but ran.

Courts are terribly slow.good luck. K.

manicddaily said...

Supposed to be a Herd of cows.

Tara Miller said...

Such a beautiful poem about our deer family. I love how you give us a glimpse of her hidden fear and protection of her family. Quiet strength and beauty comes to mind here....

Daniel said...

As you likely intended, as I came near the end, I thought this was a piece about a homeless family that you had met in your journeys.

Tabor said...

What a vision through a prism-ed window. I actually thought it was a farmer and a poor woman exchanging hopeful support. Loved the transition and as much as I have read you I should have seen this coming.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I love moments like that. Very sweet.

DJan said...

Awww, I enjoyed that. I knew it had to be an animal, but until I got to the end I wasn't sure... thanks, Brian.

kaykuala said...

A very rare capture of communicating with nature's instincts. Of more wonder is the nightly 'rests' in your compound where they feel safe in numbers! Thanks for sharing Brian!

Hank

Jeannine Breton said...

Very nice... how some hunters can kill these beautful animals, I'll never know.

Jen said...

Admire from a distance. Deer kill more people than bears.

Paula Wooters said...

I love staying out at my friend's country home. I wake up to the deer munching quietly on the plants outside the window. They are so totally trusting, simply looking up to see who's watching. They have nothing to fear from me.

Pat said...

This is nice. You and the mother deer communicating silently and understanding each other. Beautiful.

Leovi said...

Delicious, really envy you, next to my house just sleeping cars parked.

Pat Hatt said...

They are great to watch when not in a car
And cause you to swerve or crash like you came from a bar
Funny how the cat watched too
Not sure what mine would do
Prob run and hide
As away they glide

happygirl said...

You certainly gave them a personality. Personally, I find them a nuisance. Enjoy the end of your weekend. :)

Magpie said...

What a blessing...for both of you. A daily commune.

farawayinthesunshine said...

I am glad she is safe and glad also you are seeing them on a daily basis...You certainly have a keen observing eye...Happy Sunday :-)

Monkey said...

what a beautiful sight to wake to every morning...

Claudia said...

what a magical encounter bri... brought me back to my grandma's garden when i was a kid...loved to watch the deers that showed up in the evenings..thanks for dusting a bit of magic across the place and my morning...smiles

Gloria said...

what nice story Brian this remember the other day I saw a man in the stree askes for money (of course) I let him somones but when I enter to the Bakery (I buy some sweet brads) I think I will one for him when I give tha man was absolutely happy and said me !what nice and lovely idea" I said Is ok (Im a litlle timid)

Betsy Brock said...

Nice! I need some for my zoo! ha. Trade you a skunk couple for a deer family, ok? haha.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I don't know why, but I immediately visualized deer when I started reading this. I often wish I could convey to animals that I will not hurt them.

izzy said...

Love watching deer- saw one alone on a hill by Lowes, she just walked on through as though not a care in the world. This is Bow season, so people are out there hoping to nab one.

Gail said...

I knew you were hiding animals in your words but did not know until the end. Fantastic job. I see you like a twist in endings too.

DCW said...

Nicely described, the mutual respect that makes these encounters so special.

Laurie Kolp said...

I love deer... how neat they come close enough to feed. I had the pleasure of doing the same and observing them eat when I spent some time in beautiful TX hill country... very relaxing. And you had me fooled. The ending led me right back to reread.

Modern Day Disciple said...

I call deer God sightings. Ever present, unseen, beautiful. Thank you for this. I miss the deer who used to visit our yard in rural, RI. We used to put feed grain out and feed then through the winter. Precious memories watching them from our kitchen and laundry room!

Eva Gallant said...

I immediately knew you were writing about an animal; I just wasn't sure which species. Nicely done.

Wander said...

Brian, i like this peace :-)

the intro to my last blog post will be the intro to a book, probably a series of books spanning from past to the future...I got the idea today while walking and had to write a chunk of the prequel. Side note, thank you for reading my work, I look up to your writing and to have you reading mine regularly feels very good.

Lyn said...

These creatures transformed before my eyes..I had a different script in my head..I like yours so much more! A beautiful,mysterious piece..

RMP said...

from the moment you began describing her eyes I knew...

they are really amazing creatures, as I am sure they think the same of us.

Tina said...

With hunting season upon us here in CO, I actually immediately went to deer. I know they are prevalent in your neck of the woods. Beautiful piece.
Tina @ Life is Good
http://kmdlifeisgood.blogspot.com/

Mary said...

What a sweet write, Brian! There are five or six deer that I see regularly in the field next to the woods next to my house. I love it when I see them. They are protected here, in the city, no hunting. Only bad thing is the dogs go crazy when they see them. But I could just watch them forever........

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Nice! How lucky you are to live in a place where the deer and the antelope play!

Brian Miller said...

ha, no antelope...not that i have seen...smiles...plenty of deer though...

hedgewitch said...

LTTP again but glad I made it. I really thought you were talking about humans for the longest time--wasn't even really sure till I read your note. There is an almost eerie mood to this, but that sort of is how you feel when you are watching wild things. Really had some nice lines, too ' Fear surely. Life is not easy...'

flaubert said...

I too, thought this was about a human, then much to my surprise-viola! it is about the beautiful deer. You are so fortunate to see this part of nature, Brian. I am so glad I read this, this evening, it made me feel very good. Thanks.

Pamela

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

okay, you know i'am going to ask you for a close up picture of them.and gush like the woman i'am to see them. Whilst I boast about your poem. :) love, Blink , blink and big grin

She Writes said...

Well, I think I am actually jealous :)!

Zouxzoux said...

So wonderful to hear of feeding the deer instead of killing them. Very nice write.

Fred Rutherford said...

very cool way of personifying here. Love the easy nature to the piece, trust and living cohesively, that's what struck me, in a really neat way. Thanks

Valerie said...

Incredible description of the doe and her family... and in your yard too. Now I am jealous. I want one... or two... in MY yard.

Lorraine said...

That is so enchanting...like a magic forest I never even guessed, you are such a story teller

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Fascinating verse. Very touching!

my heart's love songs said...

how lovely to be so close! other than an occasional bunny, the wild animals here in the desert would as soon eat you as not. {smile}

a really lovely write, Brian.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Oh how wonderful...you had me going in a whole other direction. Ha!
This is great
Hugs
SueAnn

Dave King said...

What a rivetting post! I hung on every word, letting it soak in. I've known people (women) like that and felt as you clearly did. Yes, I could relate to it completely. Superb. - And thanks for the news of your deer at the end.

JANU said...

Would have loved to interacted with them the way you do. This was an intrigued writing...suspense revealed in the end.

Happy Blogoversary...four cheers for you.

The Empress said...

My children would love to see this.

Sometimes, there is a HUGE deer that pops into our hard and scares the heck out of me.

I'm so scared she'll jump through our large back window, that faces the field.

They have nowhere to do, the subdivisions are popping up quicker than on a monopoly board and the coyotes are out howling every night.

These beautiful animals: so scared, hungry and nowhere to go.

Thank you for being so kind to them/

Shadow said...

how blessed you are!!! they are such 'fairytale' creatures...

hiroshimem.com said...

I like how our understanding of the situation unfolds as your story does. I first imagined a woman and her kids, maybe really poor people.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. Life is happening right at our door; we just have to notice it.

Alice Audrey said...

At first I thought you were talking about a homeless woman.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Very beautiul - both the story and of course, the deer.

ladyfi said...

Oh, this is brilliant! At first I thought you were writing about people...

Sheila said...

beautiful scene. when we lived north we had deer out back in the early morning hours as well. The foggy mist coming up off the grass around their legs made for a magical view. I miss it.

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I love the understanding--the implicit conversation here--Lovely!

Drizel said...

Lovely, really enjoyed reading about the Deer family:)

Alexandra said...

Great poem. However, I had a different "vision" in my head of what you were writing about before I read your notes at the end!! lol

....

Annmarie Pipa said...

delightful!! we have 3 that come with their mom every am and every evening. we do not feed them, they eat all my plants.

Daydreamertoo said...

It is a blessing to share these moments with creatures like this. Such a shame they have to fear us though and I wouldn't mind if hunters used the deer for food and such, but not just to put their heads on a wall.
Beautiful writing.

Victoria said...

My mind took me in a different direction when I first started reading this...this morning running a few errands I ran into 3 different homeless persons in 3 different locations. It's cold and blustery. I did what I could but it's never enough, is it? This is beautiful. Wonderful to live so close to nature.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"You are safe.

Yes, I mean you no harm.

Ok, but keep your distance. Let us finish and we'll move on..."


Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing the beautiful photograph Of somewhere south of Bedford, VA...and your very beautiful descriptive poem An Understanding...too!

deedee :)

festivalking said...

O how lovely! you are blessed to be near such wonderful gifts of nature. thanks for being kind to them Brian :)

A lovely poetic narration right here man :)

Cloudia said...

quite quite lovely and evocative, reminding me of similar moments!


Warm Aloha from Waikiki
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Joanna Jenkins said...

How cool is that! I loved this one, Brian. It reminds me of back home in Ohio when we had deer in our yard as kids. It was such a sight.
Thanks, jj

mrs mediocrity said...

This made me smile... love the crossover that could be human.
Just this morning my daughter saw a deer in our backyard, they come and go here, crazy dogs out back that keep them moving along. I bet your sons love seeing them!
Beautiful writing.

Mama Zen said...

Awww! I could just picture them!

Me said...

What a blessing. Thanks for sharing.

Steve E said...

Ah! Brian--Nature Boy!
You describe your property
perfectly...and your zoo.

Thank God your song is
not without words, or the
world would be the loser.

...and that communication
between animals--count not
number of feet--is so real,
so true, right, "human"!

PEACE!

Stephanie said...

What a sweet and perfect moment!

PattiKen said...

I knew that was where you were going, but I loved it. We once had a mom and adolescent visit our yard during the day. Mom was blind, and one day, she didn't come any more. But the young doe continued to come, and sat next to the fence looking in at the humans who looked back at her from the house.

P.S. Make sure you check the family for deer ticks. I found one crawling on me one evening.

ayala said...

I love that you have a family of deer...Nice :)

Myrna R. said...

Aw. This is nice.

lori mcclure said...

So you have magnetic powers to attract both people AND animals. Just add it to the list of super-powers. I'm telling you. We're all going to find out you're super-human one day, and I'll say, "I knew it!"

Raven said...

This was so beautiful and held us spellbound with a lovely surprise ending.

Syd said...

We have deer on our property too. I like to see them and know that they sleep in the woods beside the main drive. And then there are the wild turkeys that come out at times and run away. Love that animals find it safe here.