I’m going, stag.

by cheri block

I drove home yesterday (carefully with a modified boot on my injured foot) from a birthday lunch with my sister and her husband. Still warm with the pot roast and mashed potatoes inside, I gingerly stepped out of the car with my left foot, balancing myself like a pro.

I gimped out of the garage, my eyes sensing movement on the upper lawn. My brain registered “turkey” but my eyes saw “stag.”

With an eight-point set of antlers, a charcoal dark nose, and taupe muscular body, he and I spied each other simultaneously.

Four thoughts registered:

  1. What a magnificent animal!
  2. How did you gain entry?
  3. Please don’t go up the road any farther or those there at the end will shoot you!!
  4. Have you been in our olive orchard, weeks before our harvest is to take place?

He trotted up the lawn at the sight of a human with a large black foot and an old yellow dog. As usual, the dog could have cared less although she did perk up, sensing available deer poop to add to her daily special–a smorgasbord of turkey poop and acorns.

We have a deer fence to prevent this type of stealth entry but somewhere a flaw exists in our design.

I managed to hobble to the telephone and electronically open our gate.

Then, gimp gimp gimp back to the buck, who stood frozen like a bronze statue on a lawn destroyed by prairie dogs.

I put up my arms and waved them, coaxing him softly, “Go on boy, out the gate, up the driveway, out the driveway, up to the park district land, avoid the end of the road, Bambi’s father.”

Unlike the frenetic tour jeté of does and fawns, the stag listened to reason, high-stepping out to freedom.

How many olives did he eat?, I wondered.

Why didn’t I have my camera with me, I lamented.


His girlfriends, taken last week when I could walk up the road.

About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Growing Olives, Life, My photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to I’m going, stag.

  1. One of life’s lovely moments.

  2. Brig says:

    It was probably your wise eyes that got him to move on.

  3. shoreacres says:

    I haven’t heard the expression “going stag” in decades. That’s a nice twist you put on it for your title.
    I’m glad he went peacefully — and I hope you can find out how he got in.

    So – – deer like olives? Is it the moisture? or just the taste? We’ve got a native olive in Texas, mostly in the far south and west, but nothing eats it as far as I know.

    • Cheri says:

      Well thank you. I taught headline writing for 16 years as a journalism instructor so, yes, I do think about my titles. In California we have joke about deer–they will eat anything, especially if it is a plant that the local nurseries label “deer resistant.” Yes, the deer can strip an olive of everything in no time. The stag had to have leaped over a low point in the fence somewhere. With those huge antlers, he could not have shimmied under a fence. The problem we face (other than my husband is in the middle of a 7-week trial and has no time to check fences, is that poison oak is on our property by some of the fences. It never ends!

  4. Richard says:

    The following report appeared in the newspaper on the day of your post;

    A MILLINER who has made hats for Holly Willoughby and Myleene Klass was gored by a stag as she tried to 
photograph it.
    Yuan Li, 43 from east London, suffered six puncture wounds when she was charged at by the animal she described as having “huge antlers” in Richmond Park. A puncture wound to the thigh required plastic surgery.
    Ms Li, who was photographing the stag alongside a mother and its fawn, said: “There need to be more signs to highlight the mating season and make people aware of how dangerous stags are at this time of year.” Experts say people should stay at least 160ft from deer.

    • Cheri says:

      OMG! Thank you for sending me this gruesome but instructive story. In my defense, counsel, I would not have approached the stag had there been any females with him. In his recent visit to the Rancho, he was solitary. I also stayed at least 25 yards from him. I had a pitchfork in my hands (right….)

      • Richard says:

        I don’t think the victim’s suggestion for notices will be much use to you. Not according to this report anyway:

        Californian stags can’t read –
        It’s instruction therein that they need.
        Any sign on a fence to KEEP OUT!
        Makes them cross and leaves them in doubt.
        So teachers of English take heed.

        • Cheri says:

          I am not surprised to learn that Californian stags cannot read as that is true for many California school children, who, sadly are often the tool used by the union to manipulate school districts.

          I tried to talk to the stag but, like my husband, he didn’t hear a word I said.

      • Richard says:

        This report was somewhat more hawkish:

        At politics stags are quite raw.
        They’d rather make love than make war!
        When faced with a gun
        They’ll make off and run
        And not come back any more.

        Big news, eh!

        • Cheri says:

          As trespassers stags are undaunted,
          Having no concerns that the grounds might be haunted.
          When faced with concern,
          They often discern
          That their presence and detritus aren’t wanted.


      • Richard says:

        There was a fine stag from Fremont
        Who spent and was never in want.
        On a walk out one day
        He went far astray
        So he’s venison now in a restaurant.

  5. Chris says:

    Last night we had a young stag outside of our fence that surrounds our backyard. He was nibbling on our lilac branches that hung over the fence. I was glad. Like you, I embrace the gifts that nature gives us – I am always delighted.

  6. Chris says:

    What did you do to your foot?

  7. Cheri says:

    Hello my friend,
    I fell off my bed doing an exercise and fractured and dislocated my little toe. Damn

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