Deer in the City
A plastic bag floating on a still lake is the sullying fingerprint of man on nature. A fox in the city is nature’s act of resistance.” — Aminatta Forna, in “Wilder Things: Modern Life Among the Foxes and Coyotes” on lithub.com
Last week two fawns gamboled across the large lawn behind where we were staying in Bellefontaine, Ohio. They frolicked without apparent cares as they trotted, then began chasing each other at full gallop around and around the grassy area. They seemed more like playful puppies out for a romp than young deer.
Deer in the city are not so rare in many places in America. Nor are coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, even the occasional fox. The wild world encroaches on our pretensions of civilized development nearly as much as our plastics, old tires, chemical runoffs, and other tendrils of civilization sully the wildness of the natural world. The borders between “human” and “nature” are never clear. In fact, the notion of wild itself attempts to draw a line between the human and the natural, to regard our species as somehow different, somehow distant from all the other wild creatures inhabiting our shared ecosystems. Wildness, even in its most positive romantic conceptions, usually ends up being about us.
But the deer have no concern for their purported wild stature nor our civilized manners. In the heat of the afternoon the two fawns reemerged from the woods to graze on the lawn grass. They were joined by two other fawns and an adult doe. Perhaps it was a deer playdate. Perhaps they were mimicking the humans they had seen lurking at the edges of their meadow.
[Daily post 011 of 260 in my year-long challenge.] ♨