12.20.2007,8:32 AM
Whose zoo is this?
"Wow.... what is that?" I thought as my bike's high beams bathed the gravel in front of me.

The muted gray driveway was spotted with dark leaves, a hint of moonlit color betraying their identities. Beige grass with only a hint of its former lively greenness nearly blended into the gravel, suggesting a border of a pathway lit only by bouncing light from my two headlights.

Ahead and around the corner was a tall form, ethereally standing still on the grass in front of the house and next to the gravel. Because of the light of the three-quarter moon filtering through the clouds, combined with the bike's lights, all I could barely discern was a light brown form, white chest and tall neck. A few seconds passed after I slowed, switched to low beams and realized that standing barely 50 feet ahead of me was a beautiful plump deer. As I slowly bled off speed and during one long breath, we looked at each other. I saw a rack of horns on a majestic head and wide black eyes in a long soft, light brown face. He held my eyes and I his as I slowly lowered both booted feet to the gravel and stopped.

With a quick glance to my right, he turned and lopped left off to the woods as the darkness swallowed him. I smiled and nodded. Then finished my ride around the house onto the gravel and anchored the sidestand, facing out toward the main road in the distance.

Over the three years I have lived here, the various creatures that live around me have sensed that I am not a creature to be feared. Fox, hawks, crows, egrets, frogs, toads, skunks, rabbit, turkeys, doves, raccoon, deer, coyotes, owls, even a stray bull, have found refuge on my little spot of solitude and sanctuary. I welcome them all. And like a protective caretaker, I feel angry when neighbors and others intrude on their habitat outside of my legal ground.

I live in a little zoo, a microcosm of natural life, as a guest. I live in a small humble cage and they roam free. But I shall work with my co-habitants to protect and preserve what we have here. Here, where I can be one of them to a small extent. It is this little spot of land and my zoo mates that restore and nurture the wild inside me and instill peace.


posted by Macrobe
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