Christmas Eve morning

It was the morning of Christmas Eve. I had just thrown out some seeds for the birds, and I was getting ready to make that Polish dried mushroom soup that my family of origin always had before their pierogi at the Christmas “Vigilia” dinner.
As I piled all of the ingredients on the table, I stopped to look out the kitchen window, expecting to see the usual bluejays bullying the mourning doves, who bullied the titmice and junkos, and all of them being bullied by the squirrels. Instead:
If the window had been open, I could have petted the deer. Of course she wouldn’t have stayed long enough for me to do that, but I couldn’t help wondering how it might feel.
I quietly walked around to the breezeway, where I could get a head-on look at her and peeked out through the closed drapes. She looked right into my eyes, unsure, I’m sure, of what she was seeing at first.
But then it must have registered: human. danger. run.
And with her white tail flipped up, she turned around and took off into the woods.
I know a woman who puts grain out for the deer all winter. If I lived here alone, I would probably do that. But this is not my property. And I don’t make the rules.
I only enjoy watching how nature ignores all of those rules that humans devise.

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