Friday, June 01, 2007

The deer

The deer live amongst us. When I was young, my mother said there were more horses per capita in Minnetonka than anywhere else in the country. They used to clop down the street, plopping manure: Appaloosas, Pintos, Buckskins. Mostly, girls rode western-style, bareback or with a saddle. Gardeners disagree about the deer, who moved in after the horses left. Some say development at the creek forced the deer into the residential neighborhoods. There are many, many deer. They run in the defended marshlands and city parks. The deer eat roses and hostas. Gardeners shoo them; night snipers paid by the city shoot them. I vote for the deer. The deer come through the woods, into our yard, and up the driveway alone or in groups of two or more. Sudden sounds startle them and split them up loping through the woods. Young deer chatter to their mothers. Protective mothers -- the tawny ones not the gray-beige ones -- stand alone and grimace at you (who are also standing alone). Branches break underhoof in the night.

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