Utterly beyond words!

A connection with a wild animal doesn’t get better than this.

You may wonder, dear reader, how I “square the circle” in terms of a post title, Utterly beyond words, and then reaching out to you with the use of words!  My answer to that legitimate question is that if I reflected for the rest of my life, I couldn’t verbalise adequately the feelings (but note p.s. at the end of the post) that went through me, and through Jean, when a mother deer and her young fawn, crossed the boundary between their wild, animal world and our human world.

This is what happened.

Last Sunday afternoon, around 4pm, I was pottering around the area of fruit trees just above our stables.  We were fully aware that deer were coming in to our property to eat fallen apples as many times we had caught a glimpse of them through a window.

Anyway, on this particular afternoon outside by the stables, I noticed a deer eating some fallen apples and, somehow, picked up the idea that this gorgeous, wild animal was not stressed-out by me standing there looking at her from some twenty feet away.

After a few minutes of just watching, I quietly went across to the garage where we keep a bag of cob, or cracked corn, that we use to feed the deer during tough winter times.  I collected a small amount in a round plastic tray and went back into the orchard area and sat with my back against the trunk of an old oak tree, spread my legs apart and placed the tray with the cob in between my knees.

The mother deer was still hunting around for fallen apples but within a couple of minutes looked across at me, clearly smelling the cob.

Slowly but steadily the beautiful creature came towards me and, miracle of miracles, trusted me sufficiently to eat from the tray.  Her head was well within arm’s reach of me!

I was totally mesmerised by this beautiful, fragile, wild animal, head down, eating cob less than three feet from my face!  I had the urge to touch her.

Slowly, I reached forward and took a small handful of the cob from the tray and with my other hand pulled the tray to one side.  My hand with the cob was fully outstretched; my heart was whispering to the deer that I would never, ever harm her.

Softly, gently the deer reached towards me and nibbled the cob from my left hand.

Later on, when I relayed this incredible event to Jean, I said that if it was at all possible we must try and take a photograph of a wild deer feeding from our hands.

Moving on to Monday afternoon, camera ready if necessary, we kept an eye out for the return of the deer.  There was no sign of her.  Looked as though it wasn’t going to happen.

Then just before 7pm, I looked up from my desk and there, just outside the window, was the deer.  But even better, this time the mother was accompanied by her young fawn.

I grabbed the camera and quickly told Jean to meet me outside with a refill of cob in the same plastic tray.  We both sat down on the flat concrete cover of the septic tank; me with the camera, Jean with the tray of cob.

Over to the photographs!  The daylight was fading fast and I was hand-holding the camera, thus these are not the sharpest of pictures.  But so what!

The mother deer not even startled by the sound of the camera shutter!
The mother deer not even startled by the sound of the camera shutter!

oooo

Mother deer reaches down to feed; the tray is about three feet in front of Jean and me.
Mother deer reaches down to feed; the tray is about three feet in front of Jean and me.

oooo

Jean reaches forward and gently draws the tray closer to us. Mother deer continues to feed.
Jean reaches forward and gently draws the tray closer to us. Mother deer continues to feed.

oooo

Then, unbelievably, the wild deer continues feeding as Jean fondles the deer's ear.
Then, unbelievably, the wild deer continues feeding as Jean fondles the deer’s head and neck.

oooo

The trust between the deer and Jean then enabled the deer to feed from Jean's hand.
The trust between the deer and Jean then enabled the deer to feed from Jean’s hand.

oooo

There was a rustle in the leaves some twenty feet away and we saw the fawn watching her mother feeding on the cob. Jean pushed the tray away, just by a few feet, and the fawn came right up to her mother.
There was a rustle in the leaves some twenty feet away and we saw the fawn watching her mother feeding on the cob. Jean pushed the tray away, just by a few feet, and the fawn came right up to her mother.

oooo

The culmination of the most magical of experiences: mother deer and her fawn eating together some three feet in front of us.
The culmination of the most magical of experiences: mother deer and her fawn eating together some three feet in front of us.

When I published my post Space for Nature a little over a week ago, a post that included a photograph of two deer some thirty feet from Jean’s car, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what took place last Tuesday afternoon.

Words truly do seem inadequate.

P.S. It is at times like this that we need poetry.  So how about it: Sue? Kim? How would you describe in poetry what Jean and I experienced?

7 thoughts on “Utterly beyond words!

  1. Sometimes the poetry is the moment. Sometimes there are no need to elaborate with words. Sometimes words are not necessary in the stillness and miracle before us.

    1. Patsy, in your short sentences you capture exactly what we felt in front of the deer. You are so right. Particularly when the deer looked at my eyes, before I lifted up the camera. There was a stillness and miracle between us. Thank you.

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