At approximately 3pm I was sitting in the tech room making phone calls to patients. As I was the only one in the building, besides the patients sleeping upstairs, it was very quiet. The admin block is at the back of the property and away from the ‘house’ where I was and was full of admin staff.
I heard a scuffing noise behind me but assumed it was one of the admin staff coming into the kitchen, which is next to the tech room, to make tea. While waiting for the patient to answer the phone, I happened to look behind me sensing something but was half listening to the ring tone. What I saw took me a long time to actually comprehend and when I realised what it was my first thought was, ‘Is this real?’
A tiny deer was standing in the middle of the room, neck extended, sniffing the air. I must admit I froze, as I didn’t want to spook it. It then turned around and went to explore the kitchen before leaving via the back door (which was open as it was a gloriously beautiful sunny day with a temperature of 23°C). Yeah, I know – highly unusual for England – a bit like summer!
When I went outside it had disappeared around the back of the admin block and into the neighbour’s garden. A couple of blocks further down is woodland, so I gather it must have come from there.
And no, I wasn’t hallucinating. One of the admin staff saw it enter the kitchen door and they all came rushing out to see it, which I assume frightened the heck out of it when it stepped out the kitchen door.
The deer was about the size of a small dog and I did an internet search and found these pics. It seems it was a Muntjac deer but must have been a youngster because it still had spots down its back. Probably a curious teenager.
I'm adding this one for its cuteness.
This is what a site devoted to the deer of the UK said:
Muntjac deer (Muntiacus reevesi), also known as Reeves Muntjac, Chinese Muntjac and Barking Deer, belong to the genus Muntiacus. Muntjac are the oldest known deer, appearing 15 - 35 million years ago, with remains found in Miocene deposits in France and Germany. Introduced into Britain from China in 1900, many escaped from their private estates and are now well established in southern England, where they colonize woodland and dense scrubland.
Muntjac deer are of great interest in evolutionary studies because of their dramatic chromosome variations and the recent discovery of new species.
The Muntjac deer’s body length can measure up to 90 centimetres in length, about the same size as an adult fox. They have a shoulder height of 45 - 52 centimetres and weigh around 12 - 15 kilograms.
What really caught my eye was this paragraph
‘Muntjac deer are of great interest in evolutionary studies because of their dramatic chromosome variations and the recent discovery of new species.’
Humans are evolving too aren’t they?
I had and still do have so many questions running around in my head. Why come into the house? They are supposed to be so shy. I can understand if it was a fox because they are everywhere, but a deer?
I'm still smiling as I think about it.
I can only figure there was a message in the visit for me. I just have to figure out what.