At dusk as the sun goes down behind the wood, the shadows lengthen and the light begins to fade.
Now’s the time for Rocky to appear to clear up the daily debris left at the feeder by the birds. It’s a mystery how he can squeeze his body through the small gap beneath the left-hand garden gate. But this is what he does each night and evades the watching dogs. Perhaps they see him, perhaps they are too tired to even bother to bark, let alone chase him back under the gate into the wood.
This is also the time when deer emerge from the wood to feed long its edges. To the left of the fenced-off compound one stretches its neck to nibble leaves from the lower branches of the trees. To the right stands Bambi, tail twitching, her eyes fixed on the feeder – or is it Rocky that has caught her eye?
Her tail twitching still, Bambi’s back legs tense. Will she run? Has Rocky scared her off?
But no, it’s the other way round. As Bambi springs athletically over the steel wire fence Rocky runs for cover, back under the gate to his refuge in the wood.
Unconcerned, Bambi lowers her head and begins to eat the grass enhanced with discarded bird feed.
Rocky’s courage returns and so does he, back under the gate where he hesitates, not sure of the welcome he will receive. He scuttles up the side of the left fence and circles across the lawn approaching from Bambi’s rear. She, head lowered, continues to eat with her tail flicking from side to side.
Reassured Rocky decides he should take his place and settles down facing her. The complimentary meal is enjoyed by them both.
In the gloom the paparazzi camera clicks and clicks again, no flash to pierce the gathering dark.
The photos will be published next day under the heading, “Secret Rendezvous! When Rocky Met Bambi.”