Thursday, August 14, 2008
Late in the day close to 5:00 I stop my activities or reading and go to the front door as if on autopilot. If someone were watching me, they would think I had been called by someone outside although they would hear nothing.
I open the door quietly, and just as I expected, there he stands at the end of the drive-way in all his male glory. The four points of his antlers are now tall and majestic. His coat is the golden brown of early fall, and sometimes if he is not in the late afternoon sun, he ghosts like a summer shadow against the trees.
Each time I have seen him he wanders closer to the house. I go down the flagstone steps and begin talking to him about my plants and how I don't want him to get too friendly, too comfortable in my front yard. He looks at me gently and wisely with his brown eyes. He does not move and stands tall and comfortable in his maleness. I keep walking steadily toward him and continue my careful explanation of my love of my garden and how hard an I am working to get it established.
He stands statue still and does not move until I am within a few yards. As if he has heard enough of this one-sided conversation, he quickly turns and with a flash of his white tail gallops back into the pine trees and crosses down into the ravine.
I know he is not afraid of me, because like the setting sun, he is back in my driveway at the end of each day grazing the grass at the side of the road. Once this week I saw him with his two does and a growing fawn.
It is like a courtship, this dance with the prince of the forest. I cannot help but be seduced by his beauty and confidence and yet I know that if I give in I will regret it.