Red Light, Green Light

Last night, as we finished dinner, my husband looked up from his place at the table and said, ” Wow, look at all those deer back there!”

By the time I looked out into our yard and the coulee beyond, I was just able see a pack of deer run between some trees and stop, the last of them still visible through the field.

Soon, they ran the other way, back to where they had come from, still visible to us in the clearing. It was a happy, sauntering run, not a fear-filled gallop. Were they playing? It’s not unusual for us to see deer in our yard or in the valley beyond. We live on the border of town, with new developments encroaching upon us, but still retain a sense of country living with visiting wildlife. In fact, my husband noticed a family of deer – a large buck, a doe, and two fawns – frequently visiting our fruit orchard this year. They fed on the fallen apples at the edge of our property, ready to bolt into the dry creek bed or across the road into the field if frightened.

We had no idea if some of the deer we witnessed at dinner yesterday were the same ones that fed on our apples. We did believe they were bedding down in the trees and fields behind our house. There’s cover, food from last year’s corn fields, and even a small creek for water. Yes, we think the deer live back in the coulee.

Yesterday, however, it appeared they were playing! After the majority of the deer – probably eight to ten of them – had scampered back into the tree cover, one more appeared in the clearing and stayed well back facing the pack. There they stood, facing each other.

To me, it looked like a game of red light, green light! You know, the old playground game from elementary school where one person signals when the group can move and stop. The deer stood like this for a number of minutes, one leader facing a pack of followers. Was he giving instructions like in the red light, green light game or being chastised for bringing up the rear of the group when they had fled back to their cover – maybe not a group leader then, but instead, a rebellious or independent soul, not wishing to be part of the group’s antics.

In whichever case, it was fun to watch. Deer playing. What joy! Spring is here! And, the coulee is starting to green up, too!

The deer played in the back area between the trees beyond the field. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2021.

Today is day 29/31 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to for creating and hosting this annual writing challenge. This is my fifth year of participation.

10 thoughts

  1. What a fun thing to watch! I remember sitting and watching three squirrels one day. They were playing–there wasn’t any other explanation for the way they chased each other in turn, up, down, and around a tree. I love seeing that kind of thing–wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I will never get tired of watching deer, and they will always fill me with wonder. There’s something about a chance deer sighting that stops me where I am, makes me feel like that moment was meant for ME. And to witness them playing must have been SO amazing. Thank you for this smile today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, first of all, I learned a new word! I had no idea what in the heck a “coulee” was. Thanks for expanding my vocabulary! More importantly, this slice is delightful! I vividly remember the game, and I agree that it sounds just like what those deer were playing (but I can’t help but think they would give it a different name) 🙂 This line gave me so much joy to read: It was a happy, sauntering run, not a fear-filled gallop. Thanks for such a sweet slice!

    Liked by 1 person

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