Deer Romp


This is not a photo of the five romping deer, but it gives you a sense of what I see out my living room window.

Today I saw some deer at play. I only mention this because it’s something I can witness only because I live in a rural area, and I see deer out my front window often. After a little thunderstorm and brief rain this morning, five deer wandered out to the field in front of my house to eat some of the grass. There were three more or less “mature” deer, and two smaller, younger ones — not fawns, exactly, because they had outgrown their spots.

Anyway, they were acting unusually frisky. I noticed that a younger deer would trot up to a larger one; they would touch noses; then the larger deer would “nip” at the smaller one, who would suddenly leap up and race off, chased by the larger deer. At first we thought that the large deer was bullying the smaller ones. Then we noticed that positions would get reversed; the smaller deer would also nip at the larger one, who would bound off and race away, chased by the smaller.

You know how, when dogs are really having a good time, they’ll chase each other joyfully in circles? Well, something like that was happening, only the circles were quite large. There was even some playful “ambushing” going on. Two at a time, they would run at high speed into the tree-covered hills, and back down into the field again. The remaining deer would watch excitedly, and then chase each other around too. The goats in the their adjacent yard watched with customary curiosity. I thought of getting my camera to photograph the deer, but it was fun to watch, and I didn’t want to step away from the window. I’ve never seen anything like that. Usually the deer around here are very quiet and watchful.