With twice the proof, I present to you one really big lie: BAMBI IS NOT AFRAID OF YOU! You’ve been told your whole life that animals are more scared of you that you are of them. Apparently, that is not true of deer.
Last Saturday, Brave and I were sauntering home from a morning swim (him). We were walking in the woods behind South Run RECenter, near Mercer Lake. As usual he was inches outside of my sight, tearing through the woods at break-neck speed. Suddenly, the thrashing noises got louder than one small dog can make. Brave began screaming as only a terrified dog can do.
Horrible images flashed through my mind – he’s been bit by a snake and is now roiling on the ground wondering why his mom hasn’t come to save him – he’s been attacked by a bigger dog and is fighting a loosing battle. The clatter came in stops and starts. Between his yelps I gained speed as I began running as fast as I could down the path. I had no idea where to enter the woods; I could tell he was still moving, too.
Then, after what felt like 15 minutes and must have been more like 15 seconds, Brave scampered across the narrow pavement in front of me, followed by a scrawny doe! I could count her ribs, but she was by no means feeble. As Brave ran, her hooves pounded directly over him. She must have struck him once or twice because it was hard to tell the difference between her legs and his.
I don’t remember how they separated, but luckily within the next few strides, she was standing just inside the wood-line and Brave triangulated us in a dog, deer, girl standoff. I grabbed a thick, 5-foot-long branch and swung like a rabid baseball player. I used words that I am ashamed to admit here (my mother reads this sometimes). Reluctantly, the deer jogged away. She seemed genuinely disappointed that I had ended her game.
As smart as Brave seems sometimes, the furry idiot attempted to follow his predator back into the woods. I grabbed his scruff and tethered him with the leash. We did make it home without further incident, only a snapping turtle who at least was willing to mind his own business!
I mentioned that I had twice the proof that Bambi is mean. A few years ago I wrote a story called, “Disney on the Drop Zone.” Consider it validation for my position: Deer are NOT more afraid of me than I am of them!
P.S. Sorry, I didn’t think to grab my camera and record my dog’s potential demise!
Disney on the Drop Zone
I stamped my feet, wiggled my toes and stuffed my hands deeper into my blue-jean pockets. Hours had passed standing in this barren field waiting for my paratrooper husband to float to the ground so we could go home. A few other wives were around, waiting for their husbands too. Some had brought their kids and or their dogs.
Early this morning, Patrick had boarded a C-130 for a training jump with the Army Ranger students. What was supposed to take 30 minutes, invariably lengthened to devour a whole morning! Now I was freezing and desperate to go to the bathroom!
I scanned the horizon for even a tree where I could discreetly create a “ladies’ room” and noticed a crude port potty near the distant tree line. I conned my friend, Carla, into accompanying me. I didn’t need an escort, but girls always go in pairs, right? As we neared the trees, a young deer emerged from the woods and amazingly sauntered toward us! Any minute, I expected Bambi to realize we were humans and characteristically dart back into his forest. But no, Bambi walked right up to me and began to rub his rough forehead against my thigh!
Feeling a little like Hiawatha, I returned the affection. I was entranced by this strange behavior, and continued fondling Bambi’s ears while Carla remained a reserved distance away. Then suddenly, my new friend lowered his head and slammed viciously into the side of my thigh! What did I do wrong?
He stepped back slightly and did it again! What on earth? I turned to run but the little fiend tried one more time and caught the back of my knee with his two inch antler. It gouged my jeans and sent me sprawling.
Dear Carla was no help! Comically, she danced around us flapping her arms, shouting undiscernibly and fretting helplessly. But my hero was on his way; a scrappy little dog, waiting for his master. His canine ears heard my cries and came tearing across the field!
Bambi saw Tramp coming, ears flying, staccato bark announcing his arrival to save the day. Before Tramp could even get a nibble of a hoof, Bambi took off like a rocket back to the haven of his trees. Tramp never paused to check on my wellbeing. This daring rescue had become a game and he barreled after his prey in hot pursuit!
I stood, uninjured and dusted myself off. If not for Carla’s witness and the undeniable testimony of the new hole in my jeans, I’d hardly believe it ever happened!