I first saw Sandy last November. She was out for a walk with her family. Her graceful walk and graceful appearance definitely drew attention. She was very shy and somewhat shy, and she only occasionally dropped by on her schedule. She usually came with her sister who I called Bambi.
I’m sure you’ve found out that Sandy is a beautiful sand colored doe. She stops by my fence every other day to eat what I call salt and salad. She licks the salt block for a few minutes and then nibbles on the smorgasbord of leaves in the woods surrounding our fence area. Sandy is always a lady who gives her sister some time to enjoy the salt block while she gets busy eating leaves. I patiently await her arrival at night, usually an hour before sunset.
I can only imagine what is on Sandy’s mind. She’s obviously worried about the building that she’s approaching a large part of the forest that is her home. She is obviously apolitical. She wants what most of us want: a home that is not affected by crime and destruction due to the expansion of housing construction. The fields she loves to play in when the crops are harvested are doomed to be million-square-foot warehouses. She wants to raise her family without cars speeding down the highways and killing her children and family members every night.
Of course, there is the hunting season. Pataskala is free from most gun hunts, but there are poachers who don’t care about the law. Her male brothers and her father are in more danger than her. Sandy is most visible with her family during the winter months when the foliage disappears. Deer travel as a family in winter. They probably also travel that way in the summer, but they are hidden deep in the forest.
Every day when I put out the squirrel feed in the yard, I hope to get close to the deer, but when I’m in the yard, they stay hidden. I have only been near the deer once a few years ago when I was in the garden. A brave roe deer had jumped the fence and was about ten feet from me while my back was turned.
Sandy and Bambi arrived with a fawn a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know which sister the fawn belonged to, but it really doesn’t make any difference. The celebration of new life was the excitement of the moment. Some days I can see Sandy hiding in the leaves behind the fence. Her huge ears occasionally perk up when she searches for a strange sound. This is where she intended to draw her attention to a photo, but unfortunately I can’t. About two weeks ago I heard shots, probably from a rifle, in the woods after dark. The deer have not reappeared even though they have never been invisible for more than two days. I think they were butchered by a bad guy with a gun.
Email Mike Sussman at email@example.com.