It was the last day of the work week; a day for cleaning and catching up for the upcoming Stampede weekend. The weather was sunny and warm...we had just received a few days of Rain, and every Leaf and Flower sparkled from the leftover drops of Rain in the rays from the golden Sun.
All in all, it seemed like an ordinary day. But soon, the quiet of the countryside would be shattered. And I would be caught up in an inexplicable event.
I am not very surprised when a group of Mule Deer wander through the property. They generally browse outside the fence...and even if the Dogs bark, the Deer are well aware that there is a fence. And so, they feel safe. They have, as well, grown somewhat accustomed to our Dogs, especially Lucky.
Lucky is a strange one. He has an empathetic ability which allows him to speak (or bark) with the animals that visit. Should an Eagle fly by, for example, Lucky will be the first to see him. And then when Eagle calls, Lucky will sit, ears up, and bark once or twice, never taking his eyes off Eagle. Eagle will often return the favour, circling over Lucky, and calling to him. This has happened so often, most times I am not even aware of it any longer.
There are many stories we have collected concerning Lucky and wild animals...he is our ambassador to our wild friends.
The Mule Deer who visit here, however, generally travel within a group. This particular morning, there was only one.
I was inside the house when I heard the Dogs barking. I went out to see them railing wildly at a Deer by the lower gate. The Deer was not at all concerned with our foolish Dogs. Her nose was pressed right against the fence and she exhibited great interest in these two Beings who could not contain themselves.
And since she did not project fearful energy towards our Dogs, they settled down. And I watched as the three communed for what seemed like a very long time. I was about to get my camera, which I was once again without, when Deer lunged forward, towards the Dogs, setting them off all over again.
And then she raced up her side of the fence, the Dogs in hot pursuit on their side. She raced back down, the Dogs again running with her, barking wildly. At the gate, she stopped, then again she lowered her head, bounced on her front hooves, and raced back up the draw once more. Again, the Dogs gave chase. This behaviour happened over and over.
I was completely perplexed. I watched as the three of them rested, with Deer browsing and making very sure to keep out of my sight, but very close to the panting Dogs. Her behaviour was very odd to me. And when she raced up and down our fence line, my heart was in my mouth.
Inside the fence, there is a cleared trail. On her side, there are stumps and branches and windfalls everywhere. As Deer raced with our Dogs, she would jump and fly over obstacles in her path. It looked so dangerous, to me. It looked as if she could easily get hurt...and what was I to do with a Deer with a broken leg?
When she thundered down the draw, towards the gate, my legs went weak. There was so much power in her race with the Dogs! It was phenomenal to watch.
Deer was here for a couple of hours. The racing with our Dogs stopped after awhile. Nate is getting on in years; his figure is not what it once was. I watched him with trepidation as he raced, over and over again, with Deer. He has Arthritis and is overweight... But there was so much joy!
And Lucky, after his initial confusion at Deer's strange behaviour, recognized Deer's playful lunge, since he does exactly the same thing, when he wants to be chased. Lucky loves to run and is fairly fit. He raced alone with Deer two or three times, jumping over Nate who had decided to collapse and rest. There was much hilarious, happy barking when Lucky almost beat Deer to the gate.
I could feel and hear the laughter in the voices of these animals who should not, by all accounts, be friends.
Yet, I could feel, as well, that these three had bonded their energies, possibly for life.
What odd behaviour I had witnessed! Both Dogs and I were a wee bit apprehensive at Deer's bold approach at first...but it was soon evident she only wanted some company, since she could have retreated into the bush at any time. And her gaze, when a resting period arrived, centred on Lucky, whose colouring is similar to Deer's.
Nate, as well, this time, allowed his wariness of wildlife to recede. He enjoyed the races, as much as Lucky (even though he's slept and rested since!)
I could not help, as I watched the three of them flying along the fence at full speed, comparing Deer to an extremely finely tuned athlete. She used every sense she had when she raced over the broken, obstacle ridden ground. It reminded me so well of long ago, when I rode cross-country. There was never any assurance of what lay ahead, only the sure knowledge I was going to go ahead...on an unknown path.
And Deer, using all her acute senses, gave me a gift, this day.
I will never forget the awesome, terrifying, stupendous beauty and power our Visitor showed or the lesson she gave. We are all connected, us Beings. It only takes a little patience, sometimes, to understand one another.
She stayed with us for the rest of the morning. Eventually, the Dogs retreated to the house and their beds. But as I went out to begin mowing the lawn, I saw her large ears as she peeked around Guardian Rock.
And ever after, my intuition tells me eyes are watching as I go about my gardening chores.
Watching and waiting for her pals to be free.