Animal Adventures by Ron Toel

It was an April Saturday morning in northern Illinois, and I was wearing by best camo‘s. I had found a very serene spot at Illinois Beach Park where I would go to read when I felt like doing that rather than taking pictures. The spot itself was a level area where a house once stood. The trees, probably planted by a corner of the house, created a triangle and my hiney had reserved a soft area at the apex of the triangle where I could view in all directions from behind some blooming flower bushes without my being seen.

I was on my way to my favorite destination when I heard a noise at the position of eleven o’clock. I froze. A deer emerged from the underbrush about a 100 yard in front of me. It kept looking over its shoulder so I knew something had spooked it. It would take two or three steps in my direction and then look over its shoulder again. It kept getting closer and closer. Before long it was standing within 6 feet of me on my left. There it did a playful jump, and I thought it was going to run. However, it just stood there looking into the woods.

It started to walk behind me in the direction I had come. I slowly turned at the waist to see if I could follow it. From my peripheral vision I could see it had gotten on the small trail on which I was walking. It sniffed the ground on the bare trail. When it did, its ears came at alert, the tail started to flutter, (All signs of something unknown in its area.), and it headed in the direction from which it had come.

It walked right up to me and its shoulder actually rubbed against my hip. I guess the real tree camo’s made it think I actually was a tree. It stopped. It looked forward into the woods and then it smelled my shoe. When it did. Its head twisted and it looked me square in the eye. I had heard the term “fear in the eyes”, but until that moment, I did not believe it. However, I could see fear in the eyes of that deer.

A deer will evacuate its lungs by what is known as a blow. This is a warning to other surrounding creatures that there is something not right. This deer blowed and it hit me right in the face and blew the cap I was wearing from my head. In a split second it was out of my sight.

I was so enthralled by this adventure that I never made it to my favorite spot.

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