In Sweden, autumn is here and with that comes a new set of sounds and smells in nature. Autumn seems to carry an aura of thoughtfulness for the animals in the relatively safe haven along the Swedish West Coast, where it seems like their fear for humans is not at the top of their mind. Perhaps they feel that there is a new season coming on that might bring other hardships, maybe worse to overcome then casual brushes with humans. And distracted, rather thoughtful creatures are what I encountered just yesterday morning when I looked up from my breakfast table and noticed two deer prancing through our garden.

Deer in autumn, Swedish West Coast

Deer in the garden, at dawn.
Photos © Jan-Erik Nilsson for CMC, 2009

One of them looked at me point blank when I opened the door, curious. And I looked right back at it, just as curious, wondering what it was doing in our garden.

We looked at each other for a while and it occurred to me that maybe it too was hungry for breakfast. The summer’s harvest of salad leaves and apples have just been taken in for the winter, and there can’t be much to eat out there now for these delicate creatures who have been marauding people’s garden patches all summer.

Luring deer with salad leaf, Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

Enticing Bambi with a leaf of salad.

It felt like a natural thing to do, to offer them a leaf of crisp salad for breakfast. My guinea pigs used to love crispy greens, so why not these doe-eyed creatures? The fairytale animal just looked back at me. Thinking. Considering the offer but, no.

And just like in a fairytale, the animal took off, without touching the ground, as mist flowing over a meadow. It took off as quietly as autumn settles, not as much as a whisper, preferring to forage our neighbour’s garden instead.

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