I walk the dog a lot and I sometimes see deer, but they always hear me first and skedaddle.
The other day I was walking and saw two deer dashing across a field. I do this route twice a week, always at the same time, and have done for almost four years. I have never seen deer there before.
They ran from one tiny square of woodland to another tiny square of woodland. The second tiny square is on my route; it has a path right through it, and at all times you can see the edge of the trees. What I mean, it isn’t any dense forest or anything. It is mainly silver birch and young sycamores. It is probably only about 300yrds square. Yet deer obviously live in. And deer are big, and they live in herds – and I have only ever seen them that once.
On my other walks, in bigger woodland, I sometimes see evidence of them; bark stripped off trees and flattened bracken. But of the deer themselves, I probably catch sight four times a year. Deer are big, like small cows, yet they can run fast across knee-deep brown bracken without a rustle.
I have been trudging through our local woods for four years and never seen a fox, not even dead by the side of the road. I assumed there weren’t any, despite the billions of rabbits.
But then my husband said he had to wrestle the dog away from a fence as there was a fox in the solar panel compound (oh, we get all the exciting stuff round here). Maybe it had just moved in, or maybe it was just cunning and small and kept itself hidden before…
So, my argument is this – if something as big and daft as a herd of deer can live in a tiny patch of woodland without being seen much, what could live there totally hidden? If something as driven by bloodlust and as stinky as a fox can hide itself, what else is there that only comes out at night, or when there is no-one around?
So, why can’t there be fairies, leprechauns and pixies in the wood? If you saw one run across the path or dart across the corner of your eye, would you tell anyone? Or would you blame your Skyrim obsession and go home to get a paracetamol?
If they lived alone, or in small groups, and were canny and shy and didn’t have anything to do with the human race, who’s to say there aren’t elves out there? Or a monster in Loch Ness, or a Yeti in the Himalayas?
There is probably a name for this theory – the proof of one thing makes another also probable. But just because you have never seen it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.
(Fairy-tale deer by Tamara on http://www.outdoor-photos.com/photo/73105.html)