A year with deer
A year with deer outside my window.
Creatures of the dawn and dusk
they materialize in the low light
leaving their hiding spots
to graze in the slight protection of numbers.
They nervously twitch flag tails
talking to each other,
bobbing their heads in watchful munching,
ears turning on turrets
listening for anything out of place.
They clue me into something amiss.
Tails in the air,
high leaps punctuated by nervous stares toward the creek.
They crowd closer together and move to the side of the house.
Hunger keeps them from darting into the woods.
I look where they are looking.
Ah, coyotes. Two of them. Slinking. Looking about.
Marking a bush. Gnawing on something.
The herd relaxes slightly as the coyotes leave the scene.
The business of dinner resumes.
As food becomes scarce in winter,
the deer pecking order shows up.
Does in their prime birthing years eat first.
Fawns come out in full daylight
to beat the cautious does to the waning food supply.
Fawns, now without the attention of their mothers,
like waking children with chicken tails,
fur ruffled and uncombed
eat the soy beans nearest the house
where the does will not venture.
They come in twin pairs
small and fluffy with sweet little noses
and a lost look in their eyes.
But, summer does are great mothers
stepping up their watchful biding to protect their progeny,
showing their darlings where and when to fill their bellies
and where and when to hunker down and chew their cud.
Fawns play and leap and nuzzle each other
unworried about dangers.
Falls deer are reeved by nature to procreate.
Does play hard-to-get
pestered by horny bucks
abandoning sustenance to chase tails
and posture to competitors.
Eventually does choose a suiter
looking back with a come hither,
And, the cycle continues.
Fat summer of plenty
and scarcity of winter.
Through it all the strong and wily survive.
These beauties of the woods
thrive and grace us in with a show
as they go about the business
of living on the edge of forest and field
outside my window.