Monday, August 20, 2012

When Nature Attacks...Again!!!

Just when I thought these ridiculous encounters with nature couldn't get any worse...just when I thought my days of playing Snow White were over...just when I thought I'd had run-ins with every oddball creature in these parts, Helo and I were stalked by a deer. But let me rewind. Because before that, there was a goundhog incident.

(For attacks 1-5, please see my other post).

There are two huge piles of wood behind our garage that we can do nothing about. (This is one of the many joys of living in a rental). A*bout a month ago, I heard a weird noise every time I took Helo behind the garage to go potty. It was as if something was thumping on the wood. I got smart and began checking the wood pile as we walked back there. Eventually, I saw a furry butt disappear into the jungle-gym. A big furry butt.

Then one day, I walked Helo back there and heard the thump. I looked at the pile, but instead of seeing a retreating furball, my gaze was met by two beady eyes. A huge groundhog stared me down. We remained locked in this unspoken contest until moments later, he casually dropped into his hole. Message received, groundhog. Message received.

Okay, this one happened about an hour ago. It was dusk, and Helo and I were out for a walk. There's this giant forest/woods behind our house with many paths through it. We like to go through the woods on our way home, because one path in particular pops us out near our backyard.

So we're walking, and Helo is sniffing, and I'm daydreaming/duskdreaming and then I see this massive furry body about 20 feet ahead of us. A doe is staring us down. We stop, of course. Helo keeps sniffing (the dog is super oblivious). And this video starts playing in my mind:

So I start thinking about options. I'd like to think that if I were on my own, I would have been more brave. But with a 10-month old Great Dane puppy in the picture, all I could think of were outcomes that involved blood. SO, my mission became to avoid blood. Simple enough.

Now, deer are supposed to scare easily, right?
So, I take a few steps toward the deer.
It doesn't move.
At this point, Helo notices the deer and decides he wants to be friends. He starts jumping up on his back legs, pulling on the leash.
The deer doesn't move.
I calm Helo down and consider continuing on the trail (the deer was standing off to the side of the trail), when it STARTS WALKING TOWARD US.

This isn't a casual, aimless wandering that happens to be in our direction. NO, this deer starts walking a straight line toward me.
At this point, I realize we should leave. So Helo and I turn around.
I glance over my shoulder and here's the part where I almost started to cry...the part where Tad said it's like The Village. The deer is peeking at us from behind a tree.
We pick up the pace.
I look again, and it's behind ANOTHER tree. ONLY CLOSER.
We scurry as fast as we can and eventually lose sight of the deer.

At this point the thrillseeker in me takes over, and I decide to choose another path that will lead us right by where we spotted the deer...only we'd be closer to the edge of the forest and the safety of the better-lit clearing. So we're walking along when Helo comes to a complete stop. He starts doing this low growl and won't go any further, his eyes fixed on a bend in the path before us.

I realize I have no interest in being killed by nature, and so I turn us around again to find our way to the clearing. And Helo practically pulls me along, as he nervously glances behind us.

We make it into the clearing. Don't hear from the deer after that.

But as my friend Kyle Waalen hilariously pointed out. If I AM Snow White, the gatekeeper of nature, perhaps the deer was just approaching me so she could bless me? I mean what else could explain this erratic behavior? Do deer eat people??