Today, as we greet the summer, the clouds look like puffs of cotton in a field of blue. Deep pink roses bloom in the garden, and yellow coreopsis peek out from among green growth along the picket fence. As I stand on the steps, a brown blur moves in my peripheral vision, taking shelter in the shrubs. I think it is a chipmunk, but a part of me thinks my eyes deceive me.
I slowly descend the steps and spot a small bunny hopping along the neighbor’s property across the street. I stalk him in my slippers, trying not to appear stalker-ish, hoping he will submit to be the subject of my photography. I plod across the street without looking towards the creature. I have the leisure to do so as there is no traffic at the moment. My bunny is not an easy photography subject. He leaps, jaunting his hindquarters with its white tail into the air, as he moves further from me. I satisfy myself with a distant shot, a lot of zoom and a grainy photo.
little brown bunny
seeks white clover to nibble
and freedom from view
I think back to two days ago, walking Luce around the block. Lately, I spot deer almost every time I walk in our suburban neighborhood.
I spotted a deer grazing in a neighbor’s yard. He and I make eye contact, while Luce concerns himself with sniffing things close to the ground. The deer is a youth perhaps, lacking both the spots of a fawn and the antlers of a buck. We stand a few feet apart, and he does not move away from me. I speak to him very soothingly as we look at one another, “Hello honey. You are very nice. Don’t worry about Luce. I don’t think he’ll even bark.” I was wrong. Luce turns his head towards the deer, and he does bark. I step over the curb into the street with Luce to keep the peace between us.
A little ways down the street, Luce and I return to the path and continue our way down the hill. I make small talk with a couple across the street, also walking a small dog. I mention the deer, unconscious of what is happening behind me. “It follows you,” the wife said. The deer had been following in my footsteps, taking the path behind me. I made a friend, it seems. Perhaps, if I had been dog-less, it would eat from my hand?
a peaceful young deer
shows no fear of human friend,
an unexpected friendship.
© Susan Joy Clark 2021
This was written for dVerse’s Monday haibun challenge, with the requirement to make some mention of or reference to the summer solstice. I really enjoy the haibun form. This is the longest one I’ve written so far, and the first time to include more than one haiku.