‘Magnificent Buck Parade’
A once-in-a-lifetime wildlife spectacle happened right before my eyes last week. I call it a “Magnificent Buck Parade.” Here’s how it all transpired.
I got up at a quarter to seven one morning. Dawn wuz barely breaking. In the faint light I thought I saw a big deer standing on my side of our pond, barely more than 100 yards away. Looking at it through my binoculars proved my eye-sight correct.
I continued to watch the deer in the rapidly improving light and the only body part that it moved for the next 15 minutes wuz its ears. It’s eyes were focused north on something I could not see behind the pile of dirt left over from when the pond wuz built. Since the deer rut is just beginning, I figgered the buck wuz looking at one or more hidden does — hoping for some amorous action that morning.
When the sun rose, the buck wuz still standing stock still and I could see that it wuz beef-steer-fat with a very special rack of typical 10-point antlers — good enuf to be considered a trophy by most folks.
Finally, the buck moseyed north and for a moment disappeared behind the dirt pile. But then, it re-emerged and I briefly saw another deer, but couldn’t identify its gender.
But then, in seconds the Magnificent Buck Parade began! First, another mature buck started chasing the 10-pointer south along the edge of the pond. But, then a third mature buck emerged to chase after the second buck. And, then a fourth mature buck emerged to join the parade. And, lastly, a fifth mature buck emerge to chase the fourth buck.
Astonished, I watched the pell-mell buck parade head south and I figgered all the deer would go to the property south of Damphewmore Acres. But, no, the parade turned east at the pond dam, went through my garden and past my brooder house and then made a U-turn in our front yard and passed going west not 30 feet from the picture window I wuz looking through.
All five bucks were had big sets of antlers, but they were moving too fast for me to get a count of the tines. As they passed before my eyes, they were evenly spaced about 20 feet apart and moving at a dead run. It wuz like a single-deer Santa Claus hitch — sans sleigh.
Within seconds, they were back at the dirt pile and leaped to the top and five white tails disappeared behind it, only to emerge this time along a thicket headed north. Last I saw of the Magnificent Buck Parade, the deer chased over the fence and headed toward my neighbor’s pond.
In all my years of observing deer, I’ve seen two and three-buck fights and big bucks with big harems of does, but never anything like the Magnificent Buck Parade. The spectacle wuz one of the bonuses of living in the Flint Hills.
And, it’s been three days and I haven’t seen hide nor hair of a deer on the place since.
These days it seems there is a a lot of speculating about what type of government is best. There are a host of examples around the globe to evaluate.
A thoughtful reader from Sidney, Neb., sent me this list of government types to help folks make studied comparisons. The examples all use cows to illustrate. Here we go:
• Russian Communism — You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.
• Dictatorship — You have two cows. Government takes both and shoots you.
• Bureaucracy — You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you to not milk them because of a “surplus.” After that, it takes both cows, shoots one, milks the other and pours the “surplus” milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.
• Environmentalism — You have two cows. The government bans you from milking them because it’s “animal cruelty,” but requires you to humanely dispose of them because they warm the planet with methane gas.
• Political Correctness — You are associated with — but don’t “own” — two differently aged, but no less valuable to society, bovines of unspecified gender. The concept of “ownership” is banned because it’s a symbol of our past which fomented unequal, unjustifiable citizen class distinctions.
• Pure democracy — You have two cows. Neighbors decide who gets the milk.
• Representative Democracy — You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone through a secret vote to decide who gets the milk.
• American Democracy — The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for the party in power. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair “Cowgate.
I’m writing this on the Monday before Thanksgiving Day. We’re headed for a family turkey day in Manhattan. Then on Saturday, a cousin who has spent a lot of time on family history, and his wife are coming here from Springfield, Mo., to share what he’s learned about our ancestors. Hope you don’t founder on turkey.
Words of wisdom for the week. “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” Have a good ‘un.
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