Driving back roads through flat dry West Texas prairie, one comes upon mule deer grazing among mesquite trees. They look at you as you pass with dark intense eyes. They are always aware, can turn quick and be gone even quicker, leap over barbed wire fences like child’s play. Deer are handsome animals with deep set eyes, black noses, and ears that are their security. They move freely between Palo Duro Canyon and the ranch and farmland on top where it is windy and exposed and people live. Turkeys are harder to call handsome. This afternoon a group of gobblers appear in the back yard and Alan feeds them lunch. When he reaches into his bucket, grabs a handful of corn and pitches it onto their prairie table, they don’t scatter. He has been feeding them for months and now they come up to his house, onto the back porch, and peer into his living room. He calls them his “Peeping Tom’s”. Animals and people now have relationships. Wild animals have become less wild, less something we eat, more something we befriend. Still, animal’s are wise to be cautious. Human’s easily do inhuman things in a heartbeat. Nature in the canyon is never far away, and neither are humans.
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