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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just one flick

We both stopped dead at the same instant, me, the buck, walking up the slight hill on Bay View, and she, the doe, stepping out onto the lane. We stared at each other, human and deer, for a minute or two, not moving. That is, we were far enough apart that she looked to be still, but perhaps was tensing the muscles under her skin, her defense against deer flies, perhaps tensing her leg muscles for the first sign of danger. For my part, after the first few seconds, I fought that crazy desire to make a movement just to see her make a movement, like obnoxious people in a zoo pounding on glass, yelling, throwing twigs to make the fish/snake/ape/lion jump. Animals are not allowed to rest in peace, it's not who they are. Their movements define them. Something's wrong when a orang just lies there like a couch potato, watching us gesticulate behind the glass. Sorry, guy, the pleasures of TV are reserved for humans. We require animals like you to remind us that we too are animals. We also used to move freely.

In this standoff I was successful in holding my fire, having nothing more pressing on my plate than a walk for recreation. Soon the doe flicked her tail just once, waited a bit more, then ambled across the lane to the woods on the other side. Her walks are more than recreation, she needs to keep moving, for her plate is always empty, no leftovers await her in the fridge, that's the price of freedom. Or maybe with that flick she just wanted to see if I was the prisoner, if I would jump.

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