The deer on the Campbell Estate and I have an understanding. I am Queen of the Boreal Forest. This is My playground and My two-leggers’ Paradise. Deer have no place in it.
I had to lay down the law very early in my career as Head of Security here – while I was still in training, as a matter of fact.
Elizabeth and I had just come home from our pre-dawn puppy walk (Ah…. Those were the days….). She left me sitting on the porch step while she went over to the garden to get something to make breakfast. I was a bit tired, so I settled down for a snooze…
I was rudely alerted to danger by Elizabeth’s yelling. She was standing close to the garden, waving her arms over her head and stamping her feet. A big, sharpfooted creature with little branches on its head was charging toward her! I could sense that she was anxious and ran to her aid.
By the time I got to Elizabeth and sat infront of her, the creature – a deer, I later learned – had stopped short. Its head was up, its ears forward and it was backing up. I sure scared him! I felt Elizabeth needed me more, though, so I didn’t go after him. Anyway, he looked like he’d have a bit of an advantage over me in a fight. Best not to push it, I thought.
Through the winter, I grew. It felt good to just look at a deer and watch it run. Big bullies, really.
By summer, I noticed there seemed to be more deer around, and they weren’t as impressed by my ‘who-do-you-think-you-are-coming-here’ looks. I was only fifteen pounds when I sat in front of Elizabeth that morning. But by summer, I was over seventy and a very fast runner.
In the summer, a male two-legger comes over to help shorten the grass. One day when he was working, I noticed a deer sneaking up the far side of the area where the two-legger was busy. I was off (you can’t sit in front of a moving grass-shortener). That deer was stupid. It just didn’t get the message. We ran past the lawn-shortener four times before I was able to convince it to disappear and stay disappeared!
It’s a regular part of my security gig. Every morning and every evening, I clear the Campbell Estate of all undesireable and potentially dangerous creatures. You’d be surprised at what’s out there! But mostly, it’s those blasted deer. They’re a real menace to my two-legger friends, and I just won’t have them lurking around (I got Elizabeth to put another slideshow up so you can see just what I must put up with around here…).
This fall, though, about four weeks ago, another deer shows up, another one with branches on its head. Lots of twiggy branches. Our German friend says this deer – he calls it a buck – makes all the other bucks look like puppies. And this buck, he’s been hanging around my two-leggers’ territory with a big attitude problem. I don’t like that. I don’t like that at all!
So, I’m out on my morning patrol, which by now includes my two-legger neighbours’ place, too, when I see him, sneaking up behind the two-leggers building the neighbours’ new house! Danger! Danger!
I race to get between the two-leggers and the buck. Like the mountain dog I am, I place myself strategically on a rockface and the buck finds himself nose to nose with me. He isn’t running away.
I bark, “Get lost!”
He doesn’t move.
“Get lost! Get lost! Get lost!”
He gets a spark in his eye, and he won’t move. And suddenly, I realise that I’m in a very bad situation. And I’m scared. Big time. More scared than I’ve ever been in my life. He can smell it, too.
Next thing I know, I’m not on the rock face anymore. I hurt all over. I’ve got to get home.
I can hear Elizabeth calling me to go for a ride. She doesn’t know what’s happened. I hear her go back into the two-legger house. I’ve got to get there….
Elizabeth comes out the door again, to give me another shout. But I’m right there, sitting, pressed against the wall.
She knows me really well, and she knows something is wrong. When I come in, she sees the blood on my paw. She gets a cloth and washes it off, looking for the wound. She just finds a scrape. I hear her say she’s going to keep me with her at the bookshop today because something is wrong and she wants to keep an eye on me.
[to be continued…]