I was in the basement of the pottery business this morning, unpacking lots of cardboard boxes, when a co-worker came downstairs from the garage, slightly flustered.
"I saw something black moving in the driveway," he told me. "I thought it was Molly's car, that she was coming back. Turns out it's a black bear."
"Cool!" I exclaimed. "Is it still there?"
"I think so. It was there was five seconds ago."
I was already halfway out the door and down the hallway, trying to get a glimpse of the large animal through the back door.
"There it is!" I whispered. "I see it!"
And we watched together as the yearling lulled through the back yard and into the woods. It was the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. He was just walking along, minding his own business.
Then I got home - or almost home. I turned into my condo complex and there was a deer staring at me right next to the road. I stopped so the deer could cross. It took a few steps, then it stopped and turned around to look at another car up the street. It did a 180 and went back the way it came.
As I saw the white spots on its butt, just like Bambi, I realized it must also be very young. I paused and turned around. It was still standing there, right next to my car, almost as if it was seeking shelter from the second car. Then it ran across the road again, just as the second car started driving down the hill.
I quickly flashed my lights at the second car so it would slow down, and it stopped just in time for the deer to cross. As the car turned right onto the next street, I looked around again to see the deer standing there, posing right next to the sign for our complex. He began munching on some leaves, and I drove the last few feet to my house. Then I prayed I wouldn't get hit by a car on the next street, or the one after that.