Dora the Deer

  • Oh, it’s you, Buzz, you startled me!

  • Everything startles you, Dora, you’re the jumpiest creature I know.

  • Well, with my lovely big eyes (one of my most attractive features, you know), and my extra-sensitive ears, I don’t miss much. At the slightest sight, sound or sniff of danger, off I run.

  • You run very fast, I’ve seen you and the rest of your herd. Quite impressive, given that you can’t fly. And you’re pretty good at jumping, too.

  • Well, yes, that’s true. Those humans have to put up really high fences if they want to keep us out of anywhere. They don’t seem to like it when we munch on young tree shoots. Such a shame, they’re so scrummy.

  • Last winter, didn’t I see some of you right down in some gardens? The truth, Dora. I bet you weren’t popular then!

  • Well, we were hungry. And, anyway, don’t you buzzards take what you want when you’re hungry?

  • OK, fair point. But I’m a meat eater, at the top of the food chain! Not like you plant-munchers! Nobody ever chases after me.

  • Don’t talk to me about being chased, Buzz. Don’t even mention the hunt!

  • OK. There’s something else I don’t understand, Dora. You red deer are the biggest wild mammals around in Britain.

  • Nice of you to say so.

  • But half the time you seem invisible. How do you do it?

  • It’s something we learn when we are baby fawns, Buzz, when we’re too little to run fast. We keep still and hide low in the bracken so no-one spots us. And there are loads of hiding places in the woods. That’s why we like it here.

  • That stag’s not hiding. He looks as if he wants to be seen!

  • He does. He’s showing off to impress us females, the does. Isn’t he fit? 6 points on each antler, he’s a royal. And listen to him roar!

  • Well you seem to like it. I think it’s a din. It’s the same every October. I’m glad the rutting season only goes on for a couple of weeks.

  • You should have seen him fighting one of the other stags. They were really locking antlers! But he was the strongest. And the other day, he’d rolled in a mud wallow, and looked really cool!

  • I wouldn’t fancy a mud-bath, but there’s no accounting for taste. So you reckoned he’d be the best stag to mate with? A good father for your new baby faun?

  • That’s right, Buzz. My first baby!

  • And when’s it due?

  • Next June, same as all the other hinds. The herd carries on!

  • Well, congratulations and good luck, Dora – see you soon!