A VERY "DEER" Christmas!
WOW! I HAD THE MOST-AMAZING AND RAREST GIFT..THIS CHRISTMAS MORNING!
On several occasions….I’ve looked out my back windows to see four or five Deer eating left-over bird seed that had fallen from the deck’s railing/bird feeders. Feeling certain they were hungry ---I went online to find out what Deer like to eat. Everything I read led me in search of Deer Corn.
Understand… I literally live in “the country”. There are a total of three very-small stores--Walmart, Dollar General, and Food Wise-- that provide the “basics”. I decided to shop for Deer Food at Walmart since they pride themselves on having a little bit of everything. When I asked about Deer Corn, the store’s official “Greeter” pointed me in the direction of the Sports Department….a place I’d never shopped.
Like me, you may have never purchased Deer Corn so…for your information…Walmart sells it in different size-bags with various ingredients and a wide range of prices. I found that a thirty-pound bag of Deer Corn with apple flavoring, priced at $5.57 a bag, is about all I can handle--- both “physically and financially.” Trust me when I say: “Deer Corn is the heaviest thirty pounds I’ve ever carried!”
OH, In case I forgot to tell you, a creek runs behind the back of my house and separates me from the few houses located on the other side of the creek. The creek bed runs along the bottom created by two sharp inclines; tough inclines which attract few people. So far, I’ve seen only large animals travel up and down the inclines. Apparently these four-legged animals are the only ones sure-footed-enough to travel almost "straight down" to the creek below! Now....back to my story:
Every night when it’s almost dark, Cubby and I spread the Deer Corn on flat rocks located at the top of the creek. Once we’ve “set the table” for our Night Visitors, we go back in the house and turn off the back lights. That signals our Deer-Friends“it’s feeding time.”
Every morning, almost every kernel of Deer Corn is gone... which makes me very happy. I don’t want anyone or anything around me to be hungry. By now, everyone knows I keep a hefty supply of Bird Food and Sunflower Seeds in feeders and spread along the deck’s railing. And, every evening, I provide an ample amount of day-old bread, discounted hot dogs, and other “odds and ends”…including water… for the many old, crippled, and frail… four-legged visitors….who stop to rest awhile. Each morning, after checking the various containers, I'm satisfied because--- there’s never a crumb or a drop of water to be found---which means no one left hungry or thirsty.
This most-recent Christmas Morning, I started the day early. Cubby and I were up by 5am and ready to begin our daily schedule. When I opened the back door to the deck….I was stunned to see a Night Visitor still hanging around!
Quietly stepping on the deck, I came face to face with a beautiful White-Tailed Deer eating the remaining kernels of Deer Corn. He was alone and-- slowly raising his head-- he hesitated only long- enough to look me straight in the eyes before turning -- like a graceful ballet dancer performing to music-- then “taking flight”.
In those few seconds….it was as if my Deer-Friend wanted to connect with me, perhaps wanted to say “thank you”. I watched this magnifcent creature as he artfully leapt through the air --then raced down the creek’s incline to almost fly up the other side. He was soon out-of-sight, his white plume-of-a-tail ….completely hidden among the masses of trees and brush. But, his leaving didn't make me sad. I know he’ll return; his trusting eyes told me as much.
My Christmas Day truly began with the most wonderful gift of all. Nothing is more precious than a four-legged gift. As the hymn sings:
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL, ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL.
ALL THINGS WISE AND WONDERFUL, THE LORD-GOD MADE THEM ALL”.
Who says we have to spend lots of time and money on Christmas Gifts and Fancy Wrappings?!?!? The most-beautiful and most-lasting gifts are often waiting—for free—just outside our door.