I saw eight deer in the West field the other night at D's parents' farm. D walked me to my car on his way to do chores.
"Watch out for ---," he called as he walked towards the milk house, but I couldn't hear him over the wind.
"Watch out for what?" I yelled back.
He put his fingers above his head like antlers and started prancing around. Quite a sight, a six-foot tall guy in coveralls pretending to be a deer. I felt a surge of affection go through me, waved and drove off.
And sure enough, as the Kia crawled down the bumpy lane through the darkness, I spied a flash of white off to my right - the flick of a tail as a doe lept through the cornfield. And then there were 3 more, then another 4, flickering across my headlights, bounding high and wide across the road.
I was fascinated; they were a stone's throw away from me, so I slowed the car to a halt. They watched me; I watched them. Then, as though someone had pressed a button, they turned in unison and danced their way through the field to the forest. Deer move with an otherworldly grace, leaping and flying over cornstalks, dodging each other in a pattern that seems planned. My heart lept with the deer, just like Clarice Starling's did in Hannibal.