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  • It’s not every day that you get to discuss the weather, or monotonous daily activities with a deer. With George, there’s an exception. Sit and chat with him long enough and George can hold quite a conversation.

    “I don’t suppose you have any bananas with you?” He seems to say through his excited, black orbs stretching from the sides of his freshly antlered head. His eyes always seem to twinkle just slightly when I arrive for a visit. The curiosity of such a wild creature always makes me a little unnerved. His antlers only hold four slender prongs and tell of his youthful innocence, but his nonchalant head swinging turns his ornamental rack into menacing daggers.

    George’s head lowers and his tongue lazily creeps along the edge of his coal black button nose while I scratch his neck. The pleasure of reaching a pesky itch sends him into a jovial frenzy and his head bobs up and down in disapproval when I stop. The antlers tell me that the time for scratching isn’t over yet. I breathe out a long sigh—knowing what I’ve gotten myself in to—and keep scratching, teasing away briars and dried crusted mud from his soft, downy coat.

    George and I look around the field. It’s always a beautiful day for him. He turns and bats his incredibly long eyelashes, shooing a fly from his endlessly dark globes and snorts in frustration. I laugh and he stares at me, his black eyes shine scornfully. “What?” I ask innocuously, a playful smirk stretched across my face. He knows I’m laughing at his distress so he turns his body away from me, leaving me a clear view of his tail-end.

    It’s plain to see that somewhere in that horned skull of his, George understands me. “I’m sorry.” I call to him apologetically. “I promise, the next time I come to visit, I’ll bring you an apple.” George’s ear turns to my direction: He’s thinking. He turns slightly and pauses, the enormous pupil in his eye zeros in on mine as if to say, “You had better.” With the relational crisis averted we stare off into the trees and watch the rays of sun light jump and dance between them.

    Not too often in my life have I had such a pleasant conversation. George and I exchange views on the world; we talk about the weather and fruit, fruit flies and fish, salt lick and the seasons. Fall is on the way and so is the rut. Our talks will have to end someday. George is becoming too big to stay forever. So next time I see him, I’ll be sure to bring that apple.
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