They were three, and rather than cower from me and take off through the woods, they stood and looked at me. Then, as one body, they moved: one pawed the ground; one began eating the leaves from a small bush; the third started walking towards me.
I didn’t know what to make of it. Deer are supposed to run from people. I walked closer to the deer and it walked closer to me. I stamped my foot and it still came. I raised my arms and waved them and it didn’t pause–didn’t blink. I turned around, to go back, and only then did the it stop, turn and begin to head back to its fellows.
I turned around one more time, back towards the deer. It swung around back to me, as if it were on a string. I began to walk again, thinking this time, it would shy away. It didn’t. I moved closer, until I could see the ragged edges of its fur, the black at the center of its eyes, but still it came.
I didn’t know what to make of the deer. I imagine it had run from humans one too many times. Run from the food and the best footing and the last of the sunshine. Run back into the trees, and the shadows, and the low branches waiting to trip it, and the bushes already picked clean.
Probably decided to hell with it. Yes, that’s it. To hell with it. You push anything hard enough, even a small deer, and they’ll think to themselves, to hell with it.