A Couple of Interesting Animal Experiences

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 4:52 pm

I had two separate, notable animal experiences yesterday.

The first occurred as I was driving along Old Olmypic Highway in Shelton on my way to the farm. I was driving along a stretch of road with a high embankment on one side when I noticed a fawn, a really young one, tottering along the side of the road. I slowed down, of course, both for the safety of the young’n and so I could scope out the situation. About twenty yards from the fawn I spotted its mother up on the top of the embankment, some six or eight feet above the road. It was immediately obvious what had happened: Mom and Tot had been working their way along the ridge line when the kid lost its footing and tumbled to the road. Now both of them were trying to figure out what to do about it. I guessed that Mama would work something out, perhaps leading her baby to a place where the slope wasn’t quite so steep. I certainly didn’t feel confident about intervening, as I wasn’t sure how either of them would react to it and didn’t want to see the poor little thing run over when it dashed away from me in a panic. But the thing that really caught my attention was the fawn’s reaction as I passed slowly by in my car. Out there in plain sight on the side of the road, the fawn, spotting my car, immediately folded up its legs and plopped down onto the asphalt. It sat there, stock still, ears folded, all, “No Sir, no fawns here, everyone return to your tasks.” There was no tall grass to cover it, but the instinct kicked in nonetheless, the critter unable to deny an impulse totally unsuitable for its current circumstance.

I found myself feeling sorry for the deer for a moment, pitying them their inability to adapt to changing situations like us big-brained pinnacles of evolution, with our top-of-the-food-chain power to plan and strategize, our tools and technology, our factories and, um, our pollution, our sophisticated weaponry, er, our preemptive wars….erm….uhhh….okay, so bad examples. But I damn well would have been able to get back up that hillside. Even if I probably would have been promptly eaten by a mountain lion.

The second auspicious animal experience occurred later that evening at home. Everyone in the house had noticed Scrum acting a little wiggy that day, but we assumed he was just a little wound up for one reason or another and thought nothing further of it. I was presented with another possibility while chatting with Shawn as he cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. He was standing by the fridge when I heard him say, “Wow.”

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Well,” he said, “this will sound kind of weird, but I just saw Scamper standing right here at my feet.”

Shawn has some Native American blood, and participates in numerous Native American ceremonies and follows their belief systems. I, on the other hand, do not, do not and do not. Nonetheless, I too have seen Scamper once or twice around the house. I assumed that it was just my eyes seeking out patterns they were used to perceiving. But after talking to Shawn, I’m not so sure, He thinks Scamper’s spirit is lingering around the house, and he believes that this is a good thing. I’ll have to take his word for it, and I’m pretty much willing to do so. Personally, the idea that my cat might decide to hang out with his family for a while after his death makes me happy. But after hearing this news, I had to go outside and sit in with Scamper’s rose bush and cry for a while. Good kitty.

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