I woke the other morning to what seemed like a typical early morning in the Texas hill country. Part of my routine at first light is pouring a cup of freshly made hot coffee with a splash of Amaretto, in front of the kitchen windows looking out over the unusually green grass which is the well-cared for, well watered vegetation of the entire front yard and hill. A contrast of color set against the years of long draught that has been arid southwest Texas. As I look up through the window, I count not four deer, not six deer, but eight happily grazing on the moist St. Augustine grass. You might think no big deal, right? Actually, for the last two or more months decent food or vegetation for omnivores around the hill country of Texas have dwindled to all-time lows due to the long draught. This fertile fragile Garden of Eden that I’ve worked so hard to keep up and keep alive has become a battleground between man and beast! Well, perhaps not big nasty ferocious beasts that would slay Christians in the Roman coliseum, but very hungry Texas doe, with their young. I am greatly outnumbered and THAT makes a great hero-warrior story like this epic!
My masculine sense of protector of kingdom and castle immediately kicks in! I grab my flip-flops quickly sliding them on with as much vengeance as the great Achilles must have felt against Troy’s best warrior Hector! I remember that some grass spots were already eaten down to the bare roots. This fuels more of my soldiering rage! I’m saying to myself, “No! HELL NO…not on my watch!” I throw open the door and jump out. I let out a maniacal laugh and think “Ahhhh, man one….beast ZERO!” But my glory was short-lived, very short-lived.
I had only scared them about 25-yards away, still within a comfortable stroll back into Eden as soon as I returned inside my castle walls. With even more determination and kingly authority, I reached down to pick up our landscaping rocks. “I’ll show them just how serious I am AND show my Major League Baseball power and accuracy!” Wooosh! The rock flies to the target at lightening speed. Silence. Those doe’s casually look down where the rock fell, walk over and sniff it, then look back at me! This enrages me more. I reach down and in a span of 3-5 minutes I am hurling rock after rock after rock…and every time the same reaction: they go over and sniff my bullets-of-fear as if I was trying TO FEED THEM! With utter astonishment, I bow-up and say, “Alright, that’s it. You perky little Bambi’s are going down. This is a war of supremacy and all of you are getting it tattooed on the ass!“
I throw my hands up and roar at them. Nothing; just the look above in the picture. I pick up two more rocks, hum them past and near their stern stubborn bodies. They stroll over and sniff. Now I am near wits end. I start running straight at them with the face of any psychotic Apache or Comanche warrior — still the same ears and snouty noses. It is not until I get about 10 yards away that the herd finally runs down the hill, and the YOUNGEST is the last to flee. I returned to my undefended fort exhausted, huffing and puffing out of breath. I flopped down into my throne-of-a-recliner with my now cold coffee and reflected on the battle. It was not pretty. Had I just been given a taste of my new evolutionary place? Had I just been dealt a reality check on my spot in the food chain? I cannot believe they showed me so little fear!
When enough time had passed for my reflection, I thought to myself and all the rocks I heaved at them….”Thank all Gods of War I did not have a family to feed back in my cave!“
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