With the holidays fast approaching, shopping is probably pretty high on everybody’s to-do list. And, sure enough, this mother deer is apparently no exception.
Lori Jones works in a little shop selling gifts and supplies at the Horsetooth Inn and RV Park, a scenic getaway nestled at the foot of the Rockies in Fort Collins, Colorado. There, encounters with local wildlife are far from uncommon — but one recent visitor in particular did stand out.
Or, to put it more accurately, she walked right in.
Jones was working in the shop this week when, out of the blue, a wild doe appeared in the doorway. Moments later, as Jones looked on in astonishment, the curious deer actually strolled inside as if she were just another customer perusing the shelves.
“It was hilarious,” Jones told The Dodo. “She was looking at the sunglasses and the chips. I was laughing so hard.”
This deer isn’t a total stranger to Jones. She is the matriarch of a family known to live in the area, occasionally passing through the grounds to a nearby field where they graze. Never before, however, had the deer entered a building (nor had she shown any interest in shopping, for that matter).
Assuming the deer had simply lost her way, Jones decided to escort her outside, luring her back to the field with a peanut bar in hand.
And that was that — or so Jones thought.
She was wrong.
“About 30 minutes later, here comes the deer again with her whole family,” Jones said. “I’m in the office doing inventory, and I come out to find her there. This time she brought back her twins, and this one young buck that she adopted.”
The kids waited at the door. Jones made sure of it.
“They were just looking in the doorway like, ‘Can we come in too?’ I said, ‘No,’” Jones recalled. “It was so funny.”
Why the deer showed such interest in the shop that day is anyone’s guess (but rumor of gifts might have played a part). Considering that they’re wild animals though, Jones didn’t want to give them too warm a reception.
Grabbing another peanut bar, she then lured mom and her kids to the field once more. Normally, Jones has a policy against feeding wildlife, but she decided to reward their compliance with a small nibble.
Afterward, with a clap of her hands, Jones sent the deer running back into the surrounding forest. “Take your children home,” she called out as they scampered away.
Most of the time, it’s customers visiting the shop who should feel satisfied that they have gained something special. But this time, thanks to those random visitors, it was the storekeeper herself.
“It was just a lovely thing to see,” Jones said. “The population of wildlife here is just astounding. We have mountain lions, bighorn sheep, deer, raccoons — you name it. They have to fend for themselves. That’s nature. But I think they’re all wonderful.”