Every so often I have reported the presence of two white-tail bucks hanging out in our yard. This year one deer (we think it is one of the two bucks) has been hanging out almost everyday. It has gotten so use to us it doesn’t even move when we get close to it.
Well, my wife awakened me one morning this month with news that the deer was in distress. I got up and found it on its side, unable to get up, and struggling for breath, eyes rolling and mooing every so often. It was a sound recognizable in any living creature. It was the sound of suffering. We called animal services and an Open Range park ranger came to assess the situation. They saw nothing externally wrong with the animal we had come to call “Bucky”. After summoning another ranger, they tried to help it up with no success, and after measuring its antlers surmised that the animal was old… and was dying. They said as far as they could tell it was just its time.
They told us they were surprised; that they had never seen a deer in this state in someone’s yard, and that if it had been coming as often as we said, then it seems it had, for some reason, chosen our property to die on. They decided it was best to put the buck out of its misery since it was clearly suffering and unresponsive to the help being offered. My wife and I were present as they shot our dear Bucky.
It was sad to see them drag this beautiful animal around to their waiting truck, hoist it up on to the pickup bed, clean up the blood with our water hose… and drive off. One of the lasting things I also heard the rangers say was… “He’s strong.” They were referring to the amount of time it took for Bucky’s body to stop shaking after the shot to the head. We were told it would be one or two minutes, but it was twice that. It was not pretty to watch.
After the rangers left, my wife and I spent some time honoring the blessing we had experienced by this animal showing up on our property, and feeling comfortable enough to come back almost daily, and stay all day – from sunup to sunset. We wondered where it went at night. We wondered why it chose us.
He would sit in three areas throughout the day, all of which were perfect spots to view us without being seen by neighbors. He would sit and stare at us as we were in the house, washing dishes or working in the office, or lounging in the Jacuzzi. Once it walked by us, and pooped. We figured that was a sign of endearment and acceptance on Bucky’s part. At least that’s what we decided to think.
We are left with the legacy of having experienced this deer for two years up close, and being the final witness of its life, and death. We are honored, sad, and ultimately blessed, because Bucky was a great teacher for us. He showed us what peace looks like on a daily basis. He showed us what sitting meditation looks like, how to be completely relaxed, and even what it looks like to chew your food… and just chew your food. He showed us what it looks like to simply observe…to just look, see and observe. Bucky was a priest… a great one at that. He was a living word about God, a great example of living in the present moment; he was a prayer and an answered prayer at the same time… and a great meditation teacher.
We loved Bucky and I think he sensed that. Perhaps it is one reason he stayed… and even let us witness his passing on. At least that is what we have decided to think.
Yes, we are sad, but thankful. Farewell, Bucky… you will be missed.
May you have Power for Life Now!