We've been let down. Like many stories of betrayal, the act was perpetrated by some young, handsome buck. He ravaged his victim, striping her of her innocence and beauty. And then, without a look back, he disappeared into the night.
Here's what happened as close as we can tell. Sometime between dusk on Friday night and early Saturday morning, a whitetail buck attacked our 2011 Christmas tree which we had planted along the drive. He may have done the deed to remove the velvet from his antlers, but more likely, he was attempting to attract females by marking his territory, sending a clear signal to other males to stay away.
The buck clearly broke our presumptive contract that all creatures are welcome here at Farm Dover. Snakes can slither; mice (except in the house) can scurry; coyotes can howl, birds can safely build their nests; even insects stand a good chance of thriving in our garden.
The deer have plenty of places to wander, lots of acorns, fruit and nuts to eat, no hunters lurking in deer stands, and the male species has acres of perfectly acceptable forest trees on which to rub. This bully clearly oversteped his boundries by targeting our family Christmas tree, planted in a highly visable location at the front of the drive. Betrayal runs deep and can be devastating.
One of the most devastating aspects of betrayal is the break down of trust. Once trust is broken it can be very difficult to rebuild. It must be earned back. It takes commitment to work together. I'm just not sure I'm ready.
I understand that I need to let go of the anger, move on with my life, and recognize that it is okay to grieve the loss of trust and the sense of being betrayed. This process will take time, but I'll get there.