It was the weirdest thing ever and happened like this: Bossy and "Buddy" came trotting (yes, trotting, as if they had gone a whole day without seeing me and missed their old pal, Hazel) up the hill when they saw me come outdoors. I petted Bossy on the head, then "Buddy". Satisfied, Bossy began to graze and I walked away headed to the side of the house to find a tool I needed for some yard work. Buddy followed behind. How sweet! He still liked his human friend. As I walked, he trotted (they trot a lot) in front of me and stopped dead in his tracks, taking me by surprise.
Now, "Buddy" is a yearling, first RUT season of his short life, and a 2-point buck who is VERY proud of his new horns. 9I'm fairly certain he looks up to his father, Thor, and wants to be just like him when he grows up. Handsome, virile, rugged, a force to be reckoned with and a harem all his own.) He and his brother, John Jacob Astor, can be seen periodically sparring in the back yard, which, I suppose, is their way of learning how to use those weapons to their advantage. And weapons they are! But I digress.
So there we were just eyeballing each other, waiting to see who'd make the first move. When he didn't move, I took another step and he stomped at me. Hmmm....what to do...what to do! A dilemma for sure. A buck, with horns, who I've seen practically everyday of his short life, is suddenly being very weird with me.
I said, "What's up, Buddy?" (like he speaks English, you know) and stood there waiting for some sign that he was getting bored with all this. Only he wasn't. I took a deep breath and weighed my options. Here is an animal very familiar to me and I to him, but we've all heard horror stories about people who befriend animals in the wild only to have the animal turn on them. I decided to try once more. I took two steps and he jumped, yes jumped in front of me again, this time moving in even closer. HOLY MOSES! I felt trapped. So I turned slowly and started moving in the opposite direction and crept toward the steps to our front porch. They move quietly, so I wasn't certain if I was alone or had a horned stalker behind me. I stepped onto the brick walk and I heard hooves do the same. Yep...he was my uninvited escort. I turned around and he was about 2 inches from my backside and I put my hand out on his nose and said, "Buddy, that is enough."
I am not kidding when I say he looked like a wounded child. I don't know what he was up to but it could have been a number of things, the most obvious being the aggressive nature of a buck in the RUT season. All that testosterone and the only gals around were cousins, aunts and his mother. How frustrating, huh? Their need for mating outweighs any warm fuzzies they may have felt in the past and they become kind of mean and ugly.
Or it could be that he's been around me so long he now considers me a member of the herd. And sometimes they rough house. Or maybe he hates my cat who slaps him in the nose when he gets too close sometimes. Who knows? The only thing I know is that it was kind of creepy.
A couple of minutes went by and his mom, Bossy, played her mom card. She walked over to him and reared up and smacked him right in the snout with her front hooves and gave him a bloody nose. He tucked his tail between his long, skinny legs and high-tailed it out of here. She watched him go, then walked over to me as I sat on the steps, almost as if she sympathized with me. But more like she had just told her disrespectful son, "What's the matter with you, Buddy? I should knock you into the middle of next week." So she did.
By the way, the buck in the photo? Pushy Man's dad. No wonder he has a bit of a complex.