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A few years ago when I lived at the edge of a forest , a new young stag appeared, startling because he was pure white , He was probably one or two years old ,only a pricket, he had damaged on of his antlers so had one antler and a broken stump , so he looked for all the world like a unicorn.
It was during the Autumn Rut that I first noticed him, large enough to annoy the dominant stag but not large enough to cause too much trouble .
But he and his young buddies did there level best to cause disruption to the harem and steal off with the hinds
Doolally with hormones he would dash across when the big stags back was turned and try to steal away with a hind.
It usually cause a riot , hinds and young stags scattering in all directions . the dominant stag roaring and pounding the ground . The spectacle was astounding the noise, the size of these normally secretive animals and the stench of a huge stag in rut. It is something I will always remember.
Plus there is the trickle of fear that you feel when you are close to the action, with only a sketch book and pencil. I found these wild nights addictive and would return night after night to watch the drama unfold. Over the years the young white stag developed , I thought he would be driven away, but no, he stayed.
His antlers grew back and year by year he grew in size and confidence eventually holding a harem of his own. I would meet him on my daily walks in the forest, he puzzled me for even if he could catch my scent he stayed, often lying down, still watching me .
Sometimes he dozed in the sun or just carried on grazing. At dusk I would watch him come to the river to drink ,ghostly white form against a silver thread of river, in an inky forest. After 6 years he disappeared , ousted by another big stag or just went walk about. Ive heard there’s white stag appeared about 12 miles away , who knows, but he was a special creature to know.