Saturday, 31 January 2015

Sleeping Deer

It sprang up from the sleep and did a nose butt near the crotch of the man in front of me. It was reddish in colour and when it rose from the bushes, I thought that it was a python.

Patrolling along the borders relaying on the outdated map and a military GPS which is hard to read but accurately shows the sixteen figure grid reference is a daunting task performed repeatedly by the likes of us. Easy terrains on the map are not so, on the ground; a little black line depicted on the map is sometimes a huge seasonal river that is hard to cross. Therefore, I always try to avoid the black lines, taking a detour.

It was on such occasion when trying to detour the black lines marked on the map that we lost our way. We were moving in the thick undergrowth, making moves like swimming, in a breast stroke style. The person at the beginning of the long line had to do all the hard work of blazing a trail.

We reached in an opening among the long bushes; the swimming strokes were no more required to be done as the undergrowths were tall till the hips only. There was a small path perhaps a path used by the animals. We were following that path drenched in sweat and covered with pollens and spider webs all over our body.

From what looked like a kink in the path and when our guards were down because after a long line of men had passed before you, there is little chance that there would be a snake or any other animals on the way. To our utter astonishment, a deer sprang just a meter away from the path and jumped in shock. It must be in a deep slumber and the couple of men who went before me did little to disturb it.

As it was trying to flee just as we were, it banged the man in front of me with its snout (luckily not with its horn) and he fell on the ground. I was zapped and thought that it must be a python raising its head to swallow us, for that area is infested with pythons. The deer jumped over the fallen man and ran for its life.

When we gathered our senses, my friend, who was behind me, was holding me with both his hand and using me as shield. That must be the reason why I was not able to move. We had a hearty laugh over the natural instinct that we and the animals have, to save ourselves. It is said that when we are cornered we either resort to fight or flee. It was fortunate for us that the deer resorted to the flee mode rather than fight.

When we stood there, not being able to ascertain: what is it? What to do? Where is it? Who is it? The incident was over in a jiffy. The fallen man was so thankful that the nose of the deer is not as hard as the horn. The rest of us who were behind him, were thankful that the deer can jump so high, and was so agile to avoid banging with us on the narrow path.