Growing up with animals, big and small, our children are very used to it and very comfortable with them. There are some animals which we are mystified with. Dear being one of them. They are masters of not being seen in our woods. I often have questions about them. Where do they go when storms come, where do they have their babies? What do they eat when they are not stealing nibblets from my garden. I see them as these mysterious beautiful creatures out there who do not need me to live. At the same time I see them as the thieves who uproots my veggies, eat my strawberries and cause mischief. I also see them as a meat source and so I guess I have a complex relationship with them.
This Sunday, just as I was finishing hiding the Easter eggs for the hunt. I looked up and saw a small doe about 15 feet from where I was walking and it looked at me but did not run. Weird! Usually, it is enough for them to see my face in a window for them to run as fast as they can. Eddie was helping me hide the eggs and he was a bit closer than I was so I told him to see if he could get any closer. Slowly but surely, he did climb down to where it was and then the most amazing thing happened… It came right up to him and sniffed his hand.
By this time, Nick had come from hiding eggs in the front yard and I asked him to go and get some organic popcorn. It is all I could think to feed it and entice this doe to stay long enough for the rest of my family to witness this. Surely if they did not see it, they would not believe us.
I went and got everyone who was inside where they could not see us hiding the eggs. I was sure that this little doe would not stay with 8 children around but it did. She did not like the girls for some reason. I figured it was their flowy dresses so I told them to pick up their skirt and bunch them up so they wouldn’t flow around and then suddenly, they were acceptable to our visitor. Everyone got to touch her and later on that day, she came back as we were playing in the front yard, looking for us. We have named her Claire. Saint Francis loved dear and so we named her Claire in his honor as well as that of Saint Claire.
What a wonderful little visitor. I hope she stays close by though I will have to figure out how to keep her out of our greens. So continues my complex relationship but this time with a bit of personal perspective.