So, yesterday afternoon being sunny and warm, Tirithien and I went to our favorite park for a little bit of wandering. At one point, we heard the crunching of leaves behind us, and moved aside to let the person pass. The park is very popular with joggers and power walkers, so this is something we're used to.
A gentleman who looked like the prototype of the aging hippy--tattered denim, long gray hair tied back in a ponytail, arrowhead necklace, and a definite sense that his personality had been "chemically enhanced" at some point-- passed us by, saying, "Excuse me, can I get by you? I walk faster." You know, as if we hadn't moved aside to let him do just that.
Anyway, he went by and we kept walking. The guy had gotten about 50 yards in front of us when he crouched down and started closely examining something on the ground. When we caught up, he excitedly pointed out the deer tracks he'd found.
Now, I'm admittedly not a wildlife expert, but if these were deer tracks, they'd be the first deer ever with pawpads and claws. (Perhaps we should notify the Ohio DNR about the possibility of a deer-badger hybrid running around Wildwood Metropark?)
The hippy gentleman started making a long rambling speech about how he knows all about deer and how to sneak up on them and how to walk quietly in the woods-- even through leaves! -- and that's why we hadn't heard him coming up behind us. Even though, you know, we had heard him just fine. But he's been trained to walk quietly in the woods, because he's part Indian.
Well, I'm about 1/64th Cherokee, give or take a few blood drops, though I look purely Scots-Irish except for having higher cheekbones than my Celtic ancestors did. And this guy looked even whiter than I do.
So I asked him what tribe. "Blackfoot," he said cheerfully.
Ah yes, there are just so many forests in the Great Plains to practice walking quietly in.
For that matter, I'm pretty sure there aren't any deer living in the Great Plains either.
Walking away sounded like a very good idea. So we tried it.
The guy came along for a few steps before he pulled ahead again, crunching the leaves as loudly as ever. He turned around to tell us that deer will attack if you scare them. A buddy of his learned that the hard way, it seems. I know he was just waiting for us to ask for the story, but we didn't oblige.
And away the guy went, loud, fast, and obnoxious, on his way to sneak up on some deer. Around a curve and gone, mercifully!
When we reached the curve, we didn't see any sign of the guy.
We did, however, see three lovely deer grazing in a thicket. Apparently our friend had stalked right past them. Three brown deer, a mama and two yearling does. They considered us calmly for a moment, looking at us out of those big moist eyes. Apparently they approved of us, because they went right back to eating.
Unfortunate that the deer guy was so busy showing off his woodland skills that he had to miss such a thing. :-p