Thursday, April 22, 2010

Deer cliques?

Do deer have cliques? Are there insider deer and outsider deer? Extroverted deer and introverted deer?

I'm accustomed to seeing small groups of deer wandering the neighborhood. They stay generally together, although their individual ramblings seem random.

But this morning three does leaped the fence into my yard. Two of them grazed together, while the third ranged off into the farthest corners. When, one by one, the deer nested down to rest and chew their cud, the two settled side by side. The third moved off into my side yard - out of sight of the others - before curling her legs under herself in that awkward-looking way deer have and plopping herself into the grass.

One of the two does started grooming the other, licking or nipping her neck, her muzzle, even the top of her head right between her big ears. Then they relaxed, and although once in a while one or another would get up to feed some more (or sprinkle some pellets on the grass), the couple and the solitary one stuck to their segregated areas of my yard. Eventually, after many hours, all three left together.

So do some does make special friends? Can a doe be socially aloof? Can it be ostracized?

Only one thing's for sure: People can't help being storytellers.

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