Friday, April 23, 2010

Possible stag

First Summer is lasting well. Yesterday lunchtime I drifted quietly through Pipley Wood. That is, it felt like quiet drifting to me; to the fauna of the wood it was no doubt the cacophonous lumbering of a clubfooted troll.

It’s a very small, sparse wood so the sight of a deer rocketing out of a copse some fifteen yards ahead of me gave me a start; you don’t expect to see wild animals much bigger than a badger in such places. The deer whipped through the hedgerow, across the lane and into Dave’s fields. It appeared grey and possibly a stag – I say ‘stag’ only because in that fleeting moment it seemed somehow muscular and male.

When we retell these little stories of wildlife encounters, it’s always tempting to beef them up a bit. It was huge. It went like lightning. Perhaps that’s because there’s a disconnect between how interesting they are to the listener and how important they are to us. For urbanites it’s a rare treat to be suddenly confronted with the fact of being human in a non-human environment; to feel a trespasser because of it; and to try to capture and verify a fleeting moment when relying solely on your senses, memory and grip on reality, without the benefit of the prerequisite source of modern truth, the video action replay.

12 comments:

malty said...

Er, Brit, stags are the ones with wotsits sticking out of their nappers and a bit that dangles underneath, Trolls on the other hand have cockney accents and talking purses.
Never yet met a deer with a cockney accent, normally western highland.

worm said...

yes shame you didn't have the camera crew, key grip and best boy on hand to record another great wildlife spectacle a la 'Approaching the Piglets 2'

Brit said...

I think there were antlers but I can vouch for no danglers. Perhaps it was a castrato. The Eunuch of the Glen.

Gadjo Dilo said...

"...it’s a rare treat to be suddenly confronted with the fact of being human in a non-human environment" - true, I'd never thought about it in those words before. When living in Denmark I once stumbled upon the International Pheasent Association's AGM.

Gaw said...

I was reading the other day how the deer population is higher now than it's ever been. They do tend to keep themselves to themselves though, don't they?

Willard said...

I have an image of you as a youthful Michael Praed accompanied on your wanderings by mists and the songs of Clannad. Damn it. For the rest of the day now, I know I'll be singing 'Brit... the hooded man...'

malty said...

Or a beardless Bill Oddie

David said...

Reminds me of the time I was driving my wife and in-laws through Glacier National Park when a mountain lion ran across the road just in front of us. Missed us by *that* much.

Sean said...

A few relatives had come down to Perth to visit us one year, they had never been in Oz before and were looking forward to seeing some Roos.

So I thought we would drive down south, Margret river, Albany, Augusta ect and I would be sure to find them some roos to view, as they are generally everywhere.

After 4 days No Roos, relatives going home in a couple of days, I was a little perplexed and embarrassed, joking that I would cook them one on the Barby later when we got back to Perth. Should have taken them to the golf course instead to see them back in Perth I thought.

Saturday morning, jump in the car back to Perth, turn the corner out of Augusta and the biggest Roos I have ever seen jumps out into the road and as I swerve jumps right over the bonnet of the car, mum with joey in tow following.

The car is at 90 degrees in the middle of the road, everyone is silent and stunned we did not hit the biggest Roo in Australia, and what do you know about 300, 400 come out of the side tree lining hopping over the road.

He was the biggest bugger I had ever seen, still to this day I am not sure if the giant Roos that are thought to be extinct are indeed extinct.

Aussie are always boasting mainly when drunk about the biggest Roo they had seen and most of the time you just pass them another beer to see how more bizarre the story can get, now I nod knowingly and tell them my over sized tale, i suppose it was some sort of rights of passage.

I can still see his tennis ball sized testicles as he leapt over the bonnet, trying to keep control of the skidding car. "bloody hell they are big"

malty said...

Whilst on the subject of describing ones surroundings

Hey Skipper said...

Reminds me of the time I looked up from eating breakfast to see a bloody great bear walking across my backyard.

I was in the roll-reversal zoo.

Joby said...

What a tale.

It also reminds me of something that has just happened right now.

Sat in the front room and what do I see.

a ruddy great big dinosaur run right past me.

Turns out my daughter is watching Land Before Time XI