Caught red handed

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.
Helen Keller

(guess who’s at my front door / Julie Cook 2013)

According to the website “metal floss” the expression of “being caught red handed” originated not, as some erroneously believe, in Ireland, but actually in a kindred land—the nation of Scotland….(FREEDOM!!! — pride for my Scottish roots)

The first documented mention of “red hand” is in the Scottish Acts of Parliament of James I, written in 1432:
That the offender be taken reid hand, may be persewed, and put to the knawledge of ane Assise, befoir the Barron or Landeslord of the land or ground, quhidder the offender be his tennent, unto quhom the wrang is done or not… And uthers not taken reid hand, to be alwaies persewed befoir the…

And of course we can pretty much bet it all had something to do with the taking and killing of an animal such as a sheep or cow which resulted in spilt blood being on one’s hands—a pretty good indication of guilt back in the day…

Fast forward to Wednesday. It was late afternoon, around 6:00 PM—just before my husband would be arriving home from work. As this was just before the soon to be dreaded time change, it was still somewhat light out. I had the front door open to just the glass storm door. Suddenly both cats can be seen running to the door as I hear Peaches with a deep low growl. “Must be that pesky cat from my neighbor’s again” I muse.

I hurry my way to the entrance hall, not knowing what I’m going to find on the other side of the door, when I suddenly stop dead in my tracks. “The camera, where’s the camera?!” I silently scream in my head!! The deer are in the front yard, with one young deer right at the front walk. I edge my way over to the window in order to watch.

Low-n-behold, this young whipper snapper is making his / her way to my pots of mums and pansies just outside the front door! “Noooooooo, don’t you dare”… I again hear myself yelling inside my head. I just know they are the ones knocking down the bird feeders every night. My husband blames it on the raccoons but I have had my suspicions. I also imagine that this is the same young deer whose picture I took and posted a couple of weeks ago as it walked up on the driveway, just by the garage and front walk, to take a closer look at Peaches. No fear. I like it!

In some regards I am so glad these deer feel so safe wandering close to the house and our oak trees in search of tasty acorns. It is currently hunting season. I always fret as I grow rather attached to our daily visitors. I just hope this group continues hanging out in the yard staying close to the house or out in the back.

I continued watching my little friend who wisely opted not to eat my mums and pansies. He / she walked along the walkway stopping under the big oak tree. With camera in tow, I silently made my way out the back door. Hiding behind the bushes by the garage, I crouch down low snapping picture after picture… that is until the UPS truck turned into then barreled down the driveway.

“Did you not see the deer?” I practically yell at my regular delivery man. “Yeah, they ran across the driveway. What are you doing hiding in the bushes?” he asks a bit amused. Luckily he is the regular UPS man who delivers to our house, otherwise he certainly would think he had stumbled upon a truly certified nut!

“Trying to take pictures– that was until you zoomed down the driveway!”
“Well do you want your new book or not” he begrudgingly asks with a smile while handing me the small package.
“Oooooo, a new book!”
“Yes I do, thank you very much. Now you know you’ve got to hurry on up the driveway, I don’t want my husband seeing you here delivering another book—he already thinks I have entirely too many. It’s not easy explaining a big brown truck sitting in the driveway!”
“Well, at least it’s not another pair of shoes” the driver amusingly chastises as he climbs back up in his truck taking off back up the driveway from which he came.

Luckily for me the UPS truck left when it did, as my husband was just minutes behind. One would think I was up to something the way I was shooing the driver off, but in my husband’s mind, “ordering” is certainly up to something!!

How ever would I explain one more book… or another pair of shoes? I could better explain being in the bushes than I could ordering another book, or God forbid, a pair of shoes! One can never have too many books or too many shoes (unless you’re Imelda Marcos). And I just know someone like Mark Twain or Coco Channel had to have first said that!

The moral of the story: it is better to be hiding in a bush than being caught red handed wearing a pair of brand new shoes while reading a delightfully new book— or— to be a young fawn nibbling on the pansies.