“Look at the mama and baby deer!” I said. “I’m going to get a picture after we park.”
My partner was driving us up the windy driveway to his place. He took his foot off the gas as he glanced over into the clearing.
“That’ll be tricky,” he said.
“Have some faith in me.”
He parked in front of the garage. “It’s not that I don’t have faith. It’s just that those deer are going to run as soon as you head down the driveway.”
“We’ll see about that.”
In retrospect, I was absurdly confident as I hiked down the driveway. Like I was a Disney princess headed off to meet my long-lost animal sidekicks, when the reality was that I’d never come face-to-face with wildlife bigger than a squirrel in my life.
The gravel driveway made it impossible to walk quietly, and Mama Deer had her sights on me before I even stepped off the path. Her twins stared as well.
“Hey there, sweetie.”
“Who are you?” Mama Deer flicked her ears to dislodge a bug before aiming them straight back at me.
“I only want to take a couple pictures.”
“Well, okay. But please don’t get any closer.”
“That’s fair,” I said.
I zoomed in as much as the phone camera would allow, snapping a couple pictures from between the trees.
“Mama, look at how high I can leap!” One of the twins vaulted towards the back of the clearing.
“Hey, I can leap high too!” The other twin bounced behind her brother.
“Don’t you two run away from me.”
Mama Deer bolted behind her babies and corralled them at the far end of the clearing. Her attention returned to me briefly before she began scolding her twins. I took the opportunity to head back to the driveway.
“I don’t care what your brother was doing. If he decided to jump out at Mr. Skunk and get sprayed, would you do it too?”
“Well, no. I don’t like the smell of Mr. Skunk’s spray.”
“Wait, Mr. Skunk is here? I want to see him.”
The fawn ran for the woods. His twin and mother took off in hot pursuit, leaving me alone on the driveway with my phone.