I Sing to the Deer

Well, whistle, actually. Nobody wants to hear me sing.

Here in my home town, where various “progressive” schemes have almost totally erased all vestiges of the natural world, there is still a little-bitty “park” in my neighborhood, up on a hilltop. Calling it a park is a bit much. It’s really some three acres of waste land with a lot of fallen trees.

I went for a walk there yesterday. My elbow is still not healed, and walking is the only form of exercise I can do. I like the steep paths in the little park, so up I went, whistling as I climbed.

Suddenly I saw a deer, watching me. Then I discovered it was four full-grown deer. I was whistling Revive Us Again, and they listened attentively for as long as I kept it up. When I stopped, they melted into the background underbrush as silently as smoke. Now you see them, now you don’t.

I realize that for a lot of you, deer are no big deal, maybe even a daily nuisance. But here in the paved-over heart of New Jersey, I’m always amazed when I see one–let alone four at once. How they eke out a living around here, I can’t imagine: but these looked healthy.

They also knew a fine old hymn when they heard one.