I was out for a lovely run this morning. Out while the sun came up as the cool morning air caressed the skin. Much better than those dark mornings of winter that try to freeze the face off and form ice on the eyelashes - although there is some sick fun in that too.
So there I was, loping along on a dirt trail through some undeveloped land. This area was discovered to be a habitat to the precious jumping preble mouse, and there is ongoing debate as to whether these rodents... er... precious jumping preble mice are endangered or not. In the meantime, no development is allowed there.
I don't have any particular affinity for the preble mouse, but I am grateful for the debate they've stirred up as it keeps my stretch of running boonies in its state of boonyness.
So as I'm basking, I hear some thrashing about in the foliage to my left. There are other trails in this preble mouseville, and I had seem some runners/dog walkers bobbing about.
I look to my left and see a couple of dogs... no wait... these are HUGE dogs... no wait... these are two big DEER! Two deer trotting single file towards me, headed for the road on my right.
So I slow up as to let them have the right-of-way. I wasn't too worried about them crossing the road as there wasn't much traffic out yet, and visibility was ample enough for drivers to plainly see the deer.
I let them cross in front of me. They made it across the east bound lanes without incident and were in the median ready to cross the west bound lanes when some traffic went whizzing by. This caused the deer in front to, thankfully, stop its forward progress but caused the deer behind to, not so thankfully, bolt.
Bolt and do a 180 back toward the direction from whence it came. Bolt and do a 180 right back to me, standing there like the proverbial deer in the headlights. How ironic is that?!?
And I swear, it was looking me right in the eye the whole time, and speaking to me. This is what it said. "Get out of my freakin' way! I'm a crazed deer, and I WILL take you DOWN!" And this was not Bambi. It didn't look a thing like Bambi. This deer was huge. A lot of steaks and sausage there.
Okay, captivating bonding moment with nature was then OVER! I quickly became a runner once again. Not in my usual relaxed stride, but more in resemblence to Captain Jack Sparrow when he was running away from the cannibals.
By the time I looked back, the deer were no longer in sight. I was secure in the knowledge that neither had ended up as roadkill, and thankful that I hadn't ended up a big trampled salt-lick.
Those preble mice. They know how to party.