Keith Ferrell's Landlessons

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Afternoon of the Fauns

Now that we've had the first real hint that summer will be ending, I've been thinking back over this one, and the spring before it, the things I've done here, grown here, seen here. I've been busy doing them, not writing about them, but I thought I'd take a moment now and then to look back, and share those glances here.

One of the best things I saw this season was a pair of fauns, whom I found in tall grass very close to the house. (Unexpected benefit of not mowing!)

When I came around the corner of the house their mother took off, snorting and shouting with every maternal energy she owned, but the fauns were unmoved both literally and by my presence. The fauns remained in place,  let me get very close to them. They waited there place until I returned with the iPad, then allowied me to record them for a few seconds before I stepped back around the corner to let them find their way to their mother, who had taken up position in the woods near the creek, calling frantically and without cease.

It took them awhile to make their move, and when they did they took a tentative meandering route -- one of them spent some time in the now unoccupied horse stalls. Had it not been for the doe's desperate calls -- and the fauns' smaller, bleated but equally desperate answers -- and the fact that The Yearling imprinted so deeply on me when I was a child, I would have been more tempted to close the stall and keep the faun close for a bit than I was.

Eventually mother and offspring were reunited. I am more than half-convinced that I heard the fauns speak their species' version of "You left us!" to the doe.

I have seen the fauns again, on and off, all through the summer, growing nicely -- thanks in no small part to the smorgasbord  my gardens provide (I don't mind, mostly). They are far more wary now, although they still come closer to the house than most deer.

I am always happy to see them. Someday perhaps they will fall to a hunter elsewhere. I don't permit hunting on my property -- but I do permit myself the thought that someday or or the other of them might bring the next generation by the house on their way, do doubt, to show the new kids the salad bar that I grow as much for them as for me.

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