Call Me Deer

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Softly, quietly moving through the forests and across fields deer make their way through life.  They are near at all times, however it seems when autumn comes round I notice them more acutely.  The leaves never change and start to fall without my thinking of the family of deer that live close by all year.  

Perhaps it is because I know this is a season of mating for them.  A time when they will renew their numbers.  With the colder days some will soon be gone.  A bullet or arrow will end the lives of some, others will fall victims of the harsh days of winter.  The numbers will also be reduced by their natural predators and others will meet death on the roadways.

Since I was old enough to remember I have always admired all the members of the deer family.  They are regal with their crowns of antlers and majestic in their presence.  They move silently in and around us.  Seldom noticed although traces that they have been close can be spotted. 

They can be very small and agile as the antelope on our plains or as huge and giving the impression of being imposing as the moose and the elk in our mountains.  The one thing I have noticed is how well they get along with other animals both domestic and wild life.  Only in the fall when hormones rage in the males do you ever see them aggressive.

The words dear and deer are homonyms, in that they both sound alike.   I however often think of the word deer with a metaphorical image of a gentle creature when people say "you are such a dear".  Soft and unimposing members of our world.  Perhaps the connection is even stronger for me as I respect that they live their lives for the most part not harming others.

If I could look at any animal that is the image of simplicity, spending their days virtually unnoticed and yet when spotted they are seen as a beautiful enhancement to our world, dignified and peaceful it would be a deer.  If someone calls me "a dear", I feel I am learning to move through life with the grace of these fine creatures.  Call me "deer" and you can give me no greater compliment.

                         Cheryl C. Helynck


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