My South Carolina Project

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

I moved to South Carolina. This is about a surprise project that occupied my time.


I heard the rustle of something in the brush. I turned and to my surprise, she was there. She suddenly lowered herself to the ground. I watched as she struggled a bit. I suddenly felt lightheaded... I did not realize I had been holding my breath. It happened all at once. My mouth flew open and felt the breeze hitting my wide-open eyes. Right there, I watched a beautiful doe give birth to the sweetest, freckled little fawn. I knew to be very quiet and not let her know I was there. I started racking my brain trying to remember all the things my grandmother had told me about deer.

I watched in fascination as she cleaned it. Finally, it stood up and began to nurse. I put down the spade I had been using to weed the flower beds and very slowly moved away making sure she did not catch my scent. The first thing I needed to do is get Baby Dog into the house. He was a fifteen-year-old lab. He was very gentle but the deer would not know and be frightened.

I needed to make a list of supplies. I checked from the window at the area around the birthplace. I also knew several deer blinds were in some of the neighboring lots. Olan, my husband, and I had not been here but two days. This was the first time I had ever lived outside of Texas. The first thing on my list was vanilla extract. Deer really like the smell of vanilla. I also picked up some soft chicken wire, flour to make a paste, some quick cement mix, and some buckets. That would get me started. The idea was to make her a safe place to hide. I did not want her to get hurt by wandering away. The early spring breeze helped. I was going to make a log big enough for her to get into with her baby and a place where the baby would be safe. I also picked up the alfalfa, some red clover, peas, soybeans, turnips, kale, and finally the corn and chestnuts. That should keep her on a good diet. I wanted to keep her in the area while I made her log.

I found the rubber-type material to put over the cardboard to make it waterproof. Then I used the quick cement mixed with twigs, grass. Doing the inside would be the hardest. I did it first then sealed it closed with an extra mixture along the seamline.

I spent three days making May's log. I had named her May because it was May. Silly me. My husband came home each day from work and laughed at me. He shook his head. He saw no benefit in making a fake log. I just told him I was making something for the yard to display potted plants. I really did not think he would understand my weakness for critters. We have not been married very long. Olan is my fourth husband. I have experience in this area. If one is kind of weird about themselves; it is best to ease a new mate into the idea.

I drenched the entire thing with vanilla extract. I waited until she had hidden her baby under some brush and left to find food. I took my creation to an area nearby surrounded by more brush. I scooted it into the brush so it was well hidden. I tossed all the foods I had left inside and around the log and into the brush. I then took a branch and sprayed it with vanilla extract. I brushed the area along with my tracks to the edge of my yard.

Everything was in place. I went back into the house and set up a watching post. I watched and watched. Finally, I saw her again. She checked on her baby. I saw her raise her head and sniff the air. She was watching. Her ears were flickering and listening. Finally, I actually saw her nudge her baby over to the brush. She pulled some of the brush back and found my gift for her. Her tail was wagging. I giggled. I was so excited. She and the baby moved in that same night.

Boy, Olan was not going to understand my grocery list. Alfalfa, turnips, peas, and soybean? I'll just tell him I am trying a new diet. I have been on and off a diet since he met me. I was not overweight but that is how I kept it off.

Olan had decided it was time for us to meet some of our neighbors. He announced that we would be going to a small club right at the entrance of the division we had moved into. I had not had any desire to ever go into a place that was called, The Hunter's Watering Hole. I sat quietly all evening while my husband made friends. He had brought his saxophone and keyboard in hopes of getting a gig for extra money. He often did that so I was used to the routine. I listened to the 'hunters' discuss the opening of deer season. I listened to the patrons discuss the blinds, where they were located, and the possibility of having a good season. It would be a while but they were all in "repair" mode of the blinds. They all had their summer projects going. I thought to myself ... so did I. Little did I know they had a surprise for me too.

I just hope I could do it without getting caught. Olan was not the kind of guy you want in a fistfight. He was what I called a charming little round man. He was a computer programmer by day and a musician by night. A gentleman and as sweet as they come. A hunter, a fighter, no... not my Olan. I had decided not to tell him what I was up to for that reason. He would not mind me taking care of another critter... but he might worry that someone might hurt me for my actions.

I spent the entire summer getting out just before dawn and going to each deer blind that surrounded our property. I left a little pee in specific areas so that it would soak into the ground. I took Baby Dog with me and he got in to do it too. I put my urine on the upper part of the tree trunks, hanging branches, and large stones. When my bucket was empty, I would glance around, then pull down my pants and leave some fresh pee at the edge of the blind area. Just in case it rained...

I decided to go with Olan a few days after deer season had opened. I once again sat quietly and listened. All the hunters were trying to list all the possibilities as to why there were no deer in the area. A few had seen some does hanging around on the property next to ours. No bucks though. They were all scratching their heads. No rutting noises. No bucks. I had noticed that some of them complemented Olan on his pretty little wife. They were grinning at me like I was a pork chop or something. I am cautious of smiles showing too many teeth.

I was smiling inside. I would say my little project had been successful. When we got home Olan grinned at me. He pulled me to him and kissed me. "What have you done with the deer, Dear?"

"What makes you think I had anything to do with it?"

"Baby, do you think I don't know you? I followed you one morning. You had all that coffee. I watched you squat and pee into those two buckets before you left the house. I saw you putting your touch on the deer blinds." He sat on the sofa and pulled me down beside him. "You kept saying you were working on a project. Besides, I have never heard you be so quiet in a group of people before tonight. I know you did not like the subject matter, but not even a request to change the subject? Come on, Honey."

"Just tell me your South Carolina Project is finished." I thought about my little family out in the log.

"I have one thing to show you first." I grabbed the binoculars and took him to the lookout window." His mouth fell open. He recognized the log.

"Some potted plant." We both laughed. "Well, I guess it is okay to plant some red clover and maybe some alfalfa. That way it will grow there and they can come back even if you are not here.

I kissed him. He did understand me after all. Now that he knew about my South Carolina Project I could relax. "So, we don't have to go back to that club?"

"Yes, we do. I have to play there tomorrow night. You should come. I know you will enjoy the music. Besides, now I can't trust you to go pee someplace while I am gone." He hugged me and I nodded in agreement.

I dressed up a little for my date with my husband. I always enjoyed watching him play. He was truly a gifted musician. He played all the horns, keyboards, and bass fiddle. He also sang... all though he did not do them all at the same time. Most of the time he would sit at a piano with a horn stand on either side of the bench and a low microphone with stand beside the horn on the left. He would start with the piano, then play some alto saxophone, then play piano and sing and then play either the trumpet or clarinet and finish with one piece and play a little of the tune on each instrument. He always had a good show and everyone enjoyed it. I usually ordered an ice tea or coffee. I do drink but not when he is playing. Sometimes after he plays the patrons want to buy him drinks. I always play the designated driver. I was not looking forward to the evening with all those hunters. I am sure they will be talking about the kill of the day.

Olan went on into the club to double-check the setup. He had gone earlier to set up and had to finish the electrical part of it. I entered the club. I felt like all eyes were on me... because they were. I nodded and gave a quick smile. I then proceeded to the little round table marked 'reserved' just to the left of the stage. I gave the waiter my order and he said something odd to me. "You sure are photogenic."

"What?" I asked because it made no sense. I glanced up and noticed my husband smiling. I realized he had not been doing anything, nor had anyone else. They had all continued to watch me. "What is going on here?"

I was handed some 8X10 full-color photos of me peeing all over the deer blind locations. I peed in such a way as not to expose myself, but there was no doubt who it was and what I was doing. I am sure I turned red as a beet. I was then surprised, no one seemed angry. "Are you going to hurt me?"

"No, we realized you never read the name of the bar correctly. This the Hunter's Waterloo Bar and Grill. We are all photographers. We shoot wildlife, but with a camera. We do appreciate you helping us fine-tune our equipment."

I glanced up to the stage. "You knew about this?" His grin told me he did. I am sure he is also glad they were photographers and not real hunters. "Did you tell them about my deer den?"

"Deer den?" The leader of the group asked me. He had been talking from his table and came over to mine. "Tell me what you are talking about."

I told him and his fellow photographers about my deer log I had made. Nothing would do but that all these guys come to our house and see it in action. They did. They were fascinated by taking pictures of the little mother and her fawn at home inside it. For several days I have groups of them coming and going. They all wanted to take pictures of the family.

I suggested one guy that was over every day, that I teach him how to make one. Then he could teach the others and they could place them where they think they would do the most good.

I spent the next few Saturdays teaching these men how to make deer dens complete with the vanilla, which they did not know. I even told them about scattering the crushed charcoal, mixed with diatomaceous earth, and garlic to keep insects in check. The group carried it all even further by adapting what I had taught them to other animals. Their wildlife photography became very well known and popular because they were able to capture them in "natural habitats".

It was a very rewarding experience. I refer to it as my, South Carolina Project. The whole experience could have turned out so differently. I know in my heart it turned out exactly the way it was supposed to.

I look back and realize the only real argument Olan and I ever had was about the 8X10 photo he had of me squatting in the woods. He did buy all the copies they had and asked for the negatives. He had it in his office... Still makes me mad and he has been gone twenty years.


Submitted: March 15, 2021

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