|Not Maude or Murgatroyd|
It made some sense that they would hang out in the 5x10 patch of grass between the lane and the woods when the weather was sweltering. The grass there wasn’t entirely brown, the woods were just a jump away, and the small open area at least held the promise of a breeze. But now that the weather has broken, Maude and Murgatroyd (spelling uncertain) still haunt this small patch.
They’ve nearly been hit more than once because, as deer will, instead of retreating to the woods on the side of the road where they are standing, they decide they must retreat by crossing the road and jumping directly into the path of the oncoming car. And naturally, we can’t really see them until we are right on top of them.
I have tried, when I can see them, driving past them very slowly, hoping they will not jump onto my car. This has had an unexpected result in that now I can get nearly close enough to touch them before they move. If I rolled down the window, stuck my arm out of the car, and if they’d let me approach another 5 feet, I think I could touch them.
They are not quite tame enough to be handfed and not nearly spooky or wily enough to stay out of trouble. The 4 year old neighbor adores them, though she is just a bit too noisy for them. Her squeals of delight when they tiptoe into her front yard while she is in her playhouse can be heard all over the mountain. That’s usually followed by the two deer crashing down the side of the mountain by my cabin, which sets the dogs to howling again. Then the deer gallop through the other neighbor’s vegetable patch and flower garden, while she was at the far end of the garden, armed only with a hoe.
This morning? Maude and Murgatroyd are back in the 5x10 patch of grass. We’re still trying to avoid hitting them.