I’m excited to enter these pics as my Odd Balls for this week, however they aren’t of great quality at all. Obviously that is not why I’m excited to show these, rather it is the story behind them.
This summer I was out on my bike, cruising at as high of a speed as my legs would take me and the pedestrian traffic along the trail would allow. At the end of a section of this trail – my turn around point and the top of a decent hill I might add – I got off my bike to do some push-ups and ab exercises. But even before I could get off my bike I noticed a young buck some 30 feet or so in front of me eating mulberries that had fallen from the tree onto the path. I slowed my movements and tried not to make eye contact in hopes I wouldn’t scare him off. Hey friend, I have no intentions of bothering you; so you do your thing and I’ll do mine. He stared at me for a few moments it seemed attempting to decipher my motives. After deciding I wasn’t a threat (at least not enough of one to leave) he went back to eating the mulberries. I must add that I certainly did not want to interrupt him considering how skinny he was!
Every now and again he would look up at me especially as I changed positioned on the path and paced a bit. We both watched each other really, I mean come on weird stuff happens. I snapped a few pics from my phone while sitting on the path. It was evening – thus the cooler temperature of the images – and I had to be fast but cautious so as not to spook him. But then something strange really did happen…
Across the street an older man walked towards the apartment buildings down the way. He paid neither myself nor the young buck any attention, nor I him, however I can not say the same for the buck. He stopped munching and stared over at the man, to be expected right? That’s what he did to me. Then he turned to face the man, who still by the way didn’t seem to have even noticed me or the young buck. I watched curious what the buck was thinking and at what point the man would look over. Suddenly, the buck trotted across the street towards the man. Still, the old man saw nothing and continued to walk.
The young buck walked some 25 feet or so behind the man on the sidewalk, keeping a fixed gaze on him and at times trotting faster towards him. I was confused whether to try to get a better, more clear picture with my phone or take off in a sprint to warn and/or defend the old man. What did this buck see in the old man? His demeanor was neither aggressive nor submissive but he undoubtedly had an intense interest in him. And yet, the old man was still oblivious to the young buck following him down the sidewalk. The young buck paused a moment looking at nothing or no one but the old man (I’m still on the path wondering if I need to intervene!) when he galloped to the curb, leapt into the street, and took off at an angle away from the old man towards the woods behind me. It was then that the old man stopped short of the drive into a parking lot and stared in the direction the young buck had run. There was a car parked against the road there so when the old man waved I of course had to assume it was to its inhabitants…not the young buck…right? I stepped out into the grass between the path and the road and stared down into the car…no one. The old man stood at the end of the sidewalk a moment as if wondering where the young buck was headed – he still hasn’t seen me regardless of how visible I was – and then proceeded to continue on with his walk.
Of course having seen no harm come of either one of them I wished I’d managed to get better pictures and video for that matter. Nonetheless I couldn’t busy myself too much with those thoughts as I was still trying to take in just what had happened. What had just happened? Why did the young buck take off after the man like that, trailing him for a few feet, then leaving? Did the old man feed him from his apartment and did the young buck recognize him?
What a strange and beautiful world…