In just a little while, FD and I will make our last run to the deer pen with the evening apple snack. Since early in July, we have practiced this ritual around 5:30 each evening. Initially, it was Daisy’s evening bottle but, after weaning, it became apple chunks. It was always a special time of bonding with Daisy deer. I suppose it could be considered similar to the time one might spend tucking their children into bed at night.
When injured Holly deer arrived, Daisy took to Holly’s ways of sleeping outside all of the time. She no longer went into the barn except, I guess, for an occasional visit to see if anything interesting (like something to eat) might be in there. At around 9:00 at night we always let our 3 Japanese Chin out for the last time to do their “duty” and somewhere along the way, with the deer now resting outside at this time, FD began a habit of taking fresh cranberries out to Daisy for a late night snack. With me on predator patrol looking out for the dogs, FD squatted at the deer pen, flashlight in one hand, feeding Daisy cranberries through the fence with the other. This was something to see – and hear. Daisy would nibble those cranberries so very delicately from FD’s fingers, and then proceed to loudly smack them down like luscious, mouth-watering candy. I wish there had been a way to photograph the two of them out there in the light of the flashlight together, having a late night snack.
Tonight, as the sun sets and Daisy is crunching her apple snacks, I will be sure to tell her how grand tomorrow will be. I will tell her to take care of Holly, but to also learn some of Holly’s wilder ways. I will instruct her to stay away from the nearby roads but, if she must cross, to be sure to look both ways. I will remind her to not trust strange humans, but to be courteous and polite when trying to join a deer herd. I will tell her that it is acceptable after one has joined a circle of friends to be a little more straight forward, but one should always be congenial at the start. These lectures have been carried on by parents for centuries, you know. And what kind of mother would I be to deprive Daisy of the “It’s a big world out there…” talk that all grown children get when they are ready to venture out on their own?
So, at precisely 9:00 tonight we shall let the dogs out and FD will make his last, silly cranberry run to the deer pen. Daisy will come to the fence to smack them down, and another windy Oklahoma night will pass. And the morning will bring a bright, exciting new day full of adventure for our girls.
I wonder, though, that tomorrow night might not be so different, if Daisy and Holly decide not to stray too far. Just in case, I will have apples and cranberries on hand, should we have a couple hungry lurkers at the front door!
© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…