"A Process, as Life Happens"
The sudden growl of a motor
wakes Turq from his sleep,
loud and penetrating
to the caney's ears.
He lifts his head from
the wool blanket that makes
a nest under one bench of
the gazebo, and watches as
the car pulls out of the garage.
It peels away at a brisk speed,
hinting to Turq of some emergency.
With a sigh, he lowers his head,
realizing that it may be some time
before Pink returns home.
Turq dozes, but he doesn't
fall into a deep sleep, ears
alert for the sound of the car.
It doesn't come, and doesn't come.
The changing play of light in the sky
tells Turq that time is passing, and
morning is not so far away.
Anxiety nips at him like a flea,
first in one place, then in another,
then crawling up and down his spine
until it becomes impossible to ignore.
Turq creeps out of his cozy bed
and twists around to bite along
the line of his back, chasing fleas
that aren't really there, and
then shakes himself off.
He listens, he scents the wind,
but there is no sign of Pink.
Turq feels lost without him.
He knows that the best way
to find Pink is the Watching Place.
That is where Pink usually goes
when there is trouble. It is not
close, but not far either.
The deer will be better for this
than the caney, with longer legs
and greater speed over distance.
Turq is learning that transformation
is not as simple as changing clothes,
nor necessarily as terrifying as what
happened to him in the lab. It is more of
a process, as life happens, naturally and
gracefully if he can hold his focus on that.
Blue fur ripples into teal, and
smaller caney becomes larger deer.
Huge ears swivel to catch the wind.
Some of the low noises aren't as
noticeable now, but soft sounds
are far easier for him to find.
The air tastes different too,
and he curls his lip to pull in
the scent and hold it against
the roof of his mouth.
Turq can feel the direction,
even without the sun to show him.
He sets off at a trot,
soon speeding to a gallop.
The few cars on the road
are traveling slower than
they do in daylight, and Turq
outpaces most of them.
When he finally comes to
the Watching Place, he shifts
back into caney form, because
the deer really does not like people.
Turq sniffs around the parking lot.
In this shape he is better at tracking
with his nose to the ground, and
before long he finds the car
that belongs to Pink.
The trail leads into the building
and does not come back out.
Turq does not trust buildings,
no matter what form he is in.
Even though the memories are
not as sharp-toothed now as they
are in human form, it is enough
to make him shy away.
The sound of splashing water
leads him to the fountains nearby,
and he drinks with long, sloppy slurps.
He is thirsty after all that running.
Turq looks at the color of
the sky and the colored lights
around the Watching Place.
It is not morning yet, but
morning is coming.
He crosses the pavement
to the little cluster of trees
where the humans have built
things to climb upon.
It is a good place to wait.
He can stay here until
Pink comes back out.
Turq cannot recall
exactly when Pink became
so important to him, a change
as strange and profound as
his own shapeshifting.
It is simply a process,
as life happens, flowing
inexorably from the time
that they spend together.
Turq curls up under a bush,
lays his chin comfortably on his paws,
and settles down to wait.
* * *
"Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It's a journey of discovery -- there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair."
-- Rick Warren
Hearing ranges vary radically across species. Humans hear approximately 64 to 23,000 Hz. Dogs hear about 67 to 45,000 Hz. White-tailed deer hear about 115 to 54,000 Hz. The size, shape, and mobility of their ears is what gives deer an advantage in detecting sounds.
Scent plays a stronger role for many animals than it does for most humans. Deer, dogs, and wolves all have a keen sense of smell. Deer also have a vomeronasal organ which enhances their ability. The lip-curling gesture is called a flehmen, used for intent study of an interesting odor. While it happens most often with regard to mating scents, any fascinating odor can trigger it. Soups with Pheromone Powers often have a vomeronasal organ as part of their enhanced ability to read scents, and in fact, some humans -- even in our world -- just plain have Super-Scenting which they use in their dayjobs.
Magnetic sense appears in foxes, deer, and various other animals to help them navigate.
Animals have different top speeds and gaits. White-tailed deer tend to gallop and can reach speeds up to 40 mph, faster than the 30-35 mph typical of urban speed limits for traffic.