Babes in the Wood

I took Small Boy for a walk in the park today. We went with a friend and her little girl, who’s just a couple of months younger than Small Boy. And it was lovely.

Not just any park, either: we live round the corner from Richmond Park which is beautiful at any time of year.

Right now, the leaves are every colour you can imagine–greens, reds, oranges, golds, browns… everything short of octarine.

Naturally, we got distracted (two small children plus a forest inevitably leads to a Gruffalo-hunt) and by the time we’d got vaguely back on the right track, we realised we were quite a long way away from the car. Oops. Still, the slightly-slower trudge up the hill took us straight through the middle of a group of the red deer who live in the park.

They weren’t quite sure what to make of us, and while most of them figured we weren’t much to worry about, one or two stopped what they were doing (whatever that was. Foraging for chestnuts, tromping around in bracken or possibly playing Scrabble) and had a really good look at us. They’re impressive, close up–it was a bit like being in the middle of The Monarch of the Glen. Only, you know, with actual antlers. Which could gore you. It being culling season and them being a bit twitchy and all. Oops.

And then, of course, one of the two bright little sparks looks at the deer, puts two and two together and makes Christmas. “Santa!” came the enthusiastic little cry.

Oh, crap.


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