The woods were empty of anyone except myself. Empty, save for the two deer, assorted birds and a few busy black squirrels. For an hour I engaged in a game of hide and seek with the yearling does.
Stands of aspen, birch and pine became my shields, allowing me to approach a little closer. Sunlight filtered through the forest floor, casting shadows along the way.
Tree to tree we moved through the underbrush. We assessed each other with cautious eyes. This was a woodland version of the childhood game of 'statues'. They had more practice at standing still than I.
A trio of northern black squirrels fielded the middle ground as they scittered from limb to limb above our heads. As watchers, we ignored them, as with tails flicking they mocked our mutual wariness.
I worked to move with the stealth of an Indian hunter. On taut spindle legs they observed,ears, nose and eyes fixed in my direction. The smallest crack of a betraying twig would send white tail flags and powerful muscles in motion.
With reluctant patience I'd let them settle in. Eventually they resumed the forage for an acorn morning breakfast. Another interruption came from a tattletale blue jay who persistently spread word of my presence. Aspen leaves rattled noisily overhead in the passing breeze.
In Nureyve leaps the duo quickly distanced themselves to their perceived 'safe zone'. I envied the nimbleness that came so natural to them. Back and forth our game continued. At times I believed one of the does was deliberately posing. 'See my beauty and grace. Look how clumsy you are", she mocked. I could not disagree. Armed with that immutable truth I left off the foray, leaving them to finish their feed, content to have shared the woods together. Perhaps we will meet again on another day to share another walk in the woods.