I have noticed an alarming increase of wild animals in my neighborhood. I say alarming because I had a bear peer at me through my ground floor bedroom window a few mornings ago. Even deer, coyote and fox run through my yard, which is uncommon in the small city I live in, where squirrels and skunks have reigned as long as I remember. Have the surrounding woods become overcrowded that these anomalies need to venture to town for room and board? Is there a chance I may come home from work some night to find them occupying my house?
The cartoonist in me finds this humorous. I come home to a deer sitting in my La-Z-Boy, reading my paper. He glances over his reading glasses at me and says “Hey, how was your day?”
And you just know papa bear is in the next room, sleeping in my bed!
Recently, a neighbor showed me pictures of her petting a baby deer. It had wandered into her yard, lost. She fed it apples and sent it on its way. The deer has been back every day since. So far, it hasn’t brought along any friends.
A friend blames it on the decreasing number of hunters. Another friend blames it on the increasing number of bird feeders in town. Both may be right, but I think an animal would need to be starving to take to bird seed. Whichever the case, Animal Control has been busy downtown, and neighbors are busy erecting fences this summer. And I’ve been closing my bedroom windows at night, just in case papa bear wants my bed.