Sunday, February 24, 2008

Playing and Eating with the Deer Family

Our deer family keeps surviving injuries and the long, cold winter! They are glad to eat from my hand and allow me to pet them. We are all in love. Even the buck, who comes up the porch steps and tries to come in the kitchen, lets me pet him! When I feed him and pet his face, he licks my hands. It's really heartwarming. We both approach one another gingerly, because those antlers loom huge and sharp as he dips his head into the food bowl I hold. My friends all tell me I'm nuts to hand-feed so large a buck. I understand their viewpoint, but we are building an important trust. That means a lot to me.

These deer have all known Maya since she was a teensy kitten. They seem to love watching her antics. By the way, that big buck is the same one who had the run-in with Maya the Kitten in the July 2007 post.

Recently Maya was chasing me around the yard as I dragged a stick through the dry grass. The two adolescent fawns watched in fascination. One little guy in particular couldn't stop watching us, radar ears listening. He walked closer and closer, finally stopping about one foot from where we stood catching our breath. He leaner over and sniffed the stick I was dragging. To my amazement, he leaned down, rump in the air, and wiggled in the universal position for "Let's Play!" I imitated his motion, to indicate that I understood. Then I dragged the stick past him, but he was a little too nervous to actually chase it. Instead he leaped excitedly and ran over to butt his brother with his tiny antler-stubs. They head-butted and wrestled while Maya and I ran around some more. Being of such different species, playing with our friends at the same time in the same yard is probably as close as we'll get to actually romping together.


Dick said...

Wow! We get deer around here, but...

Wandering Willow said...

Yes, you get muntjacs, I remember!
I hear from all the neighbors that this is pretty unusual. Some of the neighbors can hand-feed the mother deer, but none of the others. We all take pity on her because she's such a loving mother to those little boys, but she got hit by a car this summer and has a badly mangled leg that she can't walk on. So we all want to help the family.