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THE BUCK STOPS HERE: Close Encounters of the Deer Kind

A photo of DianeWhen we bought our country home we were warned about The Wildlife. Town legends had arisen about their powers. I.e.: the deer will EAT ALL OF YOUR 2.5 ACRES, the possums HAD TEETH , loved to invade garages, and WOULD EAT YOU, and ALL the raccoons were Rabid. Just a few of the un-urban legends around our small hamlet, Bloomfield.

So when Bambi first made her appearance, tentatively discovering that our house was the ONLY one in the neighborhood without a huge ‘Barkeybark’ (dog, in my lingo), she in turn was Very Polite. Bill pointed out that deer are browsers. They take generous nibbles and move on. In no way was his prized rosebushes in danger (unlike that underground denizen the Pocket Gopher, who took pride in sucking a 5-year-old fig tree into its Hole of Doom).

Bambi, Bill's Other Woman 

My husband Bill (a.k.a. The Peanut Gallery) spoke Bambi’s language. (Indeed, he is the quintessential Wild Animal Whisperer.) They all listened – and all the deer moved on. We had Daily Deer, all of which seemed intent on just appetizer-sized nibbles as they flicked ears to Bill's gentle mantra “Hello – umm - thou shalt NOT eat ALL” (…I’d never heard the traditional ‘om’ convert so easily to ‘Ummm’ before)

One day Buck the Buck came by for a visit. BuckyBuck. He was large. He was majestic in size and antlers. And like many a large, majestic male – he was also RUDE.

BuckyBuck The Rude One 

Shrubbery began to vanish.

Rosebushes featuring their first blushing rose of the season were later found headless. (….I was repeatedly accused of harvesting petals for my salads until Bill personally observed BuckyBuck decimating one of his favorite bushes whilst staring defiantly in the living room window, displaying an obvious middle finger on the deer’s part.)

Rude Eating at Table
Rude Eating at Table 

What could we do?

The Deer Patrol took care of it for us. Or maybe Bill did. When Bambi came by for her usual visit later, Bill began a dialogue with her.

Bill (siigh): LOOK at this! (waving to  Headless Rose [nee Prize of Season])

Bambi looked. I could swear she too sighed.

Bill (admonishing): I know you had nothing to do with this…but I simply can’t have this. (pause) I shall have to buy a LARGE BARKEYBARK if this continues.

I swear, Bambi’s eyes widened. Her ears stopped flicking and she stood stock still, stunned by the specter of her best human friend turning on her. She appeared to contemplate the possibilities for a moment, then turned and elegantly walked away, tiptoeing carefully among Bill’s prized garden flowers.

A few hours later, I had to call Bill to the back window.

BuckyBuck was out there in all his pompous rude glory. Surrounded by 5 female deer.

Bill (authoritatively): It must be Rutting Season, and he’s there with His Women.

Me: But, look: they’re moving as a unit towards the driveway!

And we watched, open-mouthed, as five female deer and a majestic, rude male clip-clopped down our driveway to our property’s boundary line and continued moving into the sunset.

Escort Service
Rut?? NOT - Escort Service! 

It wasn’t Rutting Season. It was an escort service.

The perp had been apprehended, lectured in Deer, and summarily escorted off our property.

Buckybuck never returned. We saw him around town and I have no idea what was threatened (“no sex” always works, with rude males), but whatever it was…Buckybuck never again showed antlers on our property and life returned to normal.

Never under estimate the power of a woman to get her way.