The Last Doe -
- While living in New Jersey, my yard became a stage for the trials and
tribulations of the deer that found sanctuary and food. Anyone who
becomes friendly with deer knows that each animal has a distinctive look
and personality. For purposes of identity, I used to give each
distinctive animal a name.
Sugar was born in the spring of 1992, a fawn of an old doe that I called
Mad Cow. Sugar grew into a beautiful doe, tall and well proportioned.
Sugar had a white patch above each hoof and was easy to identify among
the deer that visited my feeder.
Sugar seemed to lack the fear instinct that the rest of her herd
exhibited. For the most part, other does were friendly but would bolt
at a sudden movement or an expression on my face that made them uneasy.
Sugar, on the other hand was never fearful, but she wasn't friendly
either. Although larger than the other does, Sugar left doing battle
for another day. She allowed smaller and younger deer to dominate the
We placed on our feeders high from the ground to discourage deer
emptying them. But, Sugar would stand upright on her long back legs and
make a pest out of herself in the bird feeders. At times such as this I
would bolt from the house waiving a broom and sugar would move away
keeping just enough distance between her and the broom.
Even though corn for the deer was placed underneath the crab apple tree
in the back, I would find Sugar standing outside the back door looking
for her goodies - bananas and any sweet fruit. Sugar enjoyed stale
cake, cookies and was crazy for peanuts.
I classified Sugar among the major does - those deer that lived to
maturity, gave birth to fawns and returned for corn year after year.
Through the years the major doe population diminished; the friendly
Bobber Girl; the timid White Ear-the sister and polar opposite of Sugar.
There was the Snorter, Thumper, Boo-Boo, Ginger, Gimpy Girl and the
BaBoo Cow all of whom would eventually fall victim to growing traffic,
disease and the hunter's arrow.
Before I left New Jersey the corn pile was now populated by young does
without names and young bucks that would not live beyond next year's
hunting season. But, at the back door stood Sugar waiting for her
sweets-the last of the major does.
The best of luck to you Sugar, and I hope the folks that now occupy the
house of the door where you stand waiting for your goodies will not be
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