This is a short story about a deer who comes regularly to visit my pony Wazzat. My daughter thought the name Petunia was nice and it seems to have stuck. We look forward to her visits as much as Wazzat does.
She comes from the forest. A mere shadow slipping silently through the underbrush. If my ears and nose weren't so keen, I'd never know she was there. At first she terrified me! I had picked up her scent and it was unknown to me, but every so often I could hear something venturing closer! I was ready for flight, all my senses prickling in anticipation for an instant burst of speed. Tail lifted high, ears pricked, I scanned the bush, watching for any sign of movement. Suddenly a tiny twig snapped! I was off, bolting for the far side of my paddock until I could go no further so I spun, tail high and a menacing snort bursting from my flared nostrils. Surly that would scare off the intruder.. Silence. I listened hard but not a sound. Curiousity got the better of me. I moved forward carefully. I knew it was close, so close I could hear it breathing. My legs trembled slightly as I proceeded to the fenceline, drawing in deep breaths, trying vainly to identify the unknown. Suddenly a brown head with the biggest ears and eyes appeared through the leaves. I jumped and once more ran to the far side of my paddock. Hooves barely touching the earth below them. I turned to face this intruder who has invaded my peaceful grazing, expecting to find it right on my heels. But this was not so, instead something closely resembling me stood watching me from the other side of the fence. Her deep brown eyes seemed to be twinkling with mischief, her large ears flicked back and forth trying to rid themselves of the deerflies that pestered non-stop. She was chewing on leaves, her long tongue darting out to salvage every morsel. I watched carefully, not sure if she was friend or foe, but no threat seemed to be coming from her. She reached high and ripped off another mouthfull of leaves and again turned to watch me. I couldn't take it anymore. I trotted across the paddock , tail held high ears pricked forward, intent on scaring this intruder off, but suddenly her tail went high in the air like a white surrender flag and she had turned to watch the human barn. My master had just come out the door and began dancing around the yard, arms and legs moving, swinging wildly about. I'm used to such displays from my master but the forest creature watched facinated then abruptly turned and dissapeared into the thick bush behind her.
The forest creature has become a common sight near my paddock. I've learned not to fear her. Instead we graze companionably nearby, me in my paddock, her on the outside of the fence. I actually find her company comforting and when she's not around I scan the forest carefully in hopes to see her. She too must be alone because she comes to visit daily. We draw comfort from each others company, me munching grass, her reaching into the trees and eatting leaves. Sometimes though she gets a little pushy with my territory and jumps from a standstill over the paddock fence into my much beloved paddock and source of grass. This I cannot tolerate and immediatly the chase is on. She effortlessly jumps back out of my paddock as if she's but walking. She then leaves as silently as she appeared and I rely on my master for company until she once again appears out of no-where.