Deer occupy a curious place in the animal-human universe. The monk and writer Thomas Merton thought they were profoundly spiritual beings, he sat in his hermitage watching them for hours. Many people love their simplicity and intensity. Others hunt them and many find them pests – they are called the rodents of nature.
They routinely savage crops and flowers and many panic at the sight of humans and their cars and are often killed on roads. We have hit and killed two. They were here first, of course, it is us who invaded them. They do not ever look for trouble, they often find it, beset by human trucks, developments, hunters and by coyotes, disease and starvation
I respect the many good hunters. They are in many ways, the best friends of the deer. They cull their herds, kill them humanely, respect them for food.
They are understandably terrified of humans, they rarely seem to come to terms with them. We know people who feed them every day and get close to them, I do not believe it is ethical to feed undomesticated animals, and treat them as pets. I think that kills many more animals than hunters do.
I come down somewhere in the middle. I admire their beauty and the sometimes idyllic sight of them grazing in misty fields, but although they have long lived among humans, they have never really been domesticated or come to terms with their invasive and destructive neighbors.
This beautiful doe touched my heart, she was trapped in our fences today, she was throwing herself against the fence so intensely I was afraid she would break a leg or trap herself, then there would have been no alternative but to call the police and have her killed.
Our border collies have no interest in sheep, neither Red nor Fate gave her a second look, for which we were grateful. That would have made a bad scene a lot worse. I wished the doe would trust me a bit and let me open the gate, but the very sight of me sent her into a panic and I stayed back. When she came running in my direction and past me I took her photo. Otherwise, we were not near one another.
Finally, she jumped over the fence and got to her mother.
Maria loves deer, she believes they are beautiful and peaceful creatures. I see that, when you pay attention to them, they are lovely. I wanted this doe to get back with her mother, who was hiding somewhere on the other side of the fence.
We humans are the most destructive species on the planet, only dogs and cats and horses and donkeys (and some elephants) have figured out how to survive among us. Mostly, they do it by tricking us into thinking they love us unconditionally. The deer have not figured that out yet.