A little while ago, Allie and I headed out to a small wooded park near our home. It's one of our favorite walks, particularly since there's a cleared field that once contained a small baseball diamond, but now just has a rusty old backstop in the corner. It's perfect for playing fetch, though.
We entered the park, with the golden sunlight shining through the leaves on the trees. Splendid. We walked uphill on a path, then followed the path down the hill and rounded a bend when I saw something standing directly in front of us, blocking our path.
A deer. Specifically, a buck. He was, at most, maybe eight feet away.
My first impulse was to back away and take another route to the field, but then I decided to wait and see what happened. Allie saw the buck, too, but -- thankfully -- obeyed my whispered command to "Wait." We stood very still looking at the buck, and he did the same while looking at us. We just looked into each other's eyes and waited.
A minute or so passed, and I carefully moved Allie from my right side to my left, so that she was a little further away from the buck. Then, we took a small step toward the buck. He blinked, then took a couple of steps to his left, so that he was off the path and no longer blocking us.
Allie and I waited. The buck calmly chewed a leaf from a small sapling, then ambled another few steps away from the path, turned and looked at us. We slowly made our way past him and down the path toward the field. After a few feet, I turned -- and he was still watching us.