Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Majestic moment

On Sunday afternoon as my husband and I were driving out to visit his family (who live in horse country about an hour outside of Denver), we were stopped by a buck in the road.

Mule deer are fearless creatures in comparison to the white-tailed deer most people are acquainted with. They tend to look at you with more curiosity than fear, and won't run off or startle easily. Out where my in-laws live, you frequently see them moseying across the road, unconcerned about the cars that are forced to slow down for them.

As we approached the buck, we noticed he was behaving strangely. He stood halfway across the road and stared at us; took a few steps, stopped, and stared at us again. He did this several times, and Michael was forced to slow the car to avoid hitting him.

The buck finally moved off onto the shoulder, and Michael crept forward until we were even with him. To our surprise, a doe stood behind him, partially hidden by the brush. The buck stared straight at us without blinking, a mere eight or ten feet away, blocking our path to the doe.

We were astonished to realize that the buck had been facing off with our car in order to protect the doe. He met our gazes fearlessly and defiantly with huge brown eyes that gleamed caramel in the sunlight.

I've never looked straight into the eyes of a deer like that before, and I was surprised by how much his steady, direct, brown-eyed gaze reminded me of my horse. Perhaps it was that when I met his eyes, I experienced the same feeling I get sometimes when I look into Panama's eyes: the sense of his thoughts racing just below the surface, tantalizingly just out of reach.



At January 17, 2009 at 10:17 PM, Blogger Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow! What an amazing experience!
Gave me goosebumps reading about it :)


At January 19, 2009 at 4:34 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

It definitely was. I wish I'd had a camera!


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