Thursday, June 10, 2010


Upstairs yesterday in all the quiet of a sunny afternoon I looked out the window into the garden and saw what at first I thought was The Baron, browsing quietly on some potato shoots growing out of my compost pile. But his color was more tawnily intense, he had new velvet horns, and it looked like some white spots there along the sides: I went to get my glasses: Yup, it was not The Baron, it was a male that had been a fawn not long ago that we had seen following its mother around, it was Baron II, heir to these great estates. Unfortunately, however, he was even now eying my lettuce, and the garden gate was open.

So I headed downstairs to get my props and be ready to do the Deer Chasing Routine. I asked Echo if she'd seen the deer, she said no, looked out the window and said Son of Baron. Yup I said. He's just a teenager, which is why he's come into the garden so carefree in broad daylight. He sure is a beauty, but he's heading for the lettuce, so I'm ready to chase him: Why don't you go in the back room and make some noise through the screen door, maybe that will be enough. I was expecting some Echo shouting, some hand clapping, maybe some banging on the wall or something, as I prepared myself to go out shouting and making gruff Brady noises, but suddenly from the big speakers we have back there came the top-volume breakout hip hop beat of the Black Eyed Peas, doing Hands Up:

Coming with rhythms to make your head jerk
Hands up
We makin' the whole joint short circuit

Hands high
Touch the sky
Get 'em up
Get 'em up, get 'em up, get 'em up, get 'em up, get 'em up (get 'em up)

We goin' make you move
We goin' make it hot
Elbows above your heads peoples
We holdin' up the spot

and so forth...

Which is way over any deer's head, but an impressive choice for the purpose. That's Echo for you.

At the very first bass beat so alien to his life, spirit and environs, I thought for sure Baron II would leap straight up and prong for the nearest exit, like I would if I were a deer under such circs, or even myself suddenly at a rap concert. That's what he would have done if I had stepped out the door, clapped my hands and shouted-- but then I'm not the Black Eyed Peas, am I.

He wasn't shocked, even though hip hop must have been new to him; on the contrary, he looked more like pleasantly surprised. He raised his head with that natural grace we admire in our arts and gazed toward the source of the beat, that BIG beat, with the rhythmic voice-noises and the grip of the song; those big brown eyes with a look in them that I've seen in eyes before, of a hungry emptiness, a curious seeking, a question with some panic at its heart.

He wasn't familiar with music, let alone with the Black Eyed Peas, to say nothing of lyrics; he stared for a long time - in grazing deer terms - at the roomdoor whence this mysteriously rhythmic and apparently human sound was issuing at chest-pounding volume greater than anything he'd ever heard, excepting maybe thunder directly overhead, backed by Echo clapping her hands. Should he run for his life, or could he safely ignore this amazing new thing? Could he graze and listen? He stood there looking, big ears focusing, trying to figure this out: was it a threat, was this a human in new form, was this... what was this? And he just a kid, these wild grape leaves so tasty, those lush lettuces just there in his vassal's garden...

The first several bars of the Peas seemed innocuous enough, but by the time he'd heard the hook and was getting into Verse 2 I could see he was getting antsy, the feeling was growing that this was a danger of some kind-- not sure what and maybe not imminent, but the wiser course was to get some distance into the situation, so he turned and trotted off toward the deep forest and a more traditional kind of music.

Who knows, though: having heard that beat, maybe he'll come back to stand in our garden and hope for more... he is a teen, after all, and there's nothing like that on his Big Radio.

I'll just have to be sure and keep the lettuce gate closed.


Tabor said...

Just your luck to get a teenager with rhythm.

R. Brady said...

Reminded me of my own even less cautious teen years...

Shirley Dockerill said...

what great images in the story - it leaves joy in the heart.

R. Brady said...

The ultimate goal; thank you, Shirley.

Mary Lou said...

Some deer have no taste! pity.