I absolutely loved this from Geoffroy Delorme. When still a teenager, Delorme dropped out of his lonely childhood to live among the animals in the woods of Normandy – and stayed for seven years.
My “territory” covers about 500 hectares (1,235 acres). And I soon start finding my way around. There are the paths followed by the animals, which I know by heart, and then a few special tricks that I develop with experience. Olfactory points of reference are essential, particularly at night. The oaks give off a scent of old wooden beams. If I approach a pond, my nostrils catch the scent of rushes and mud. My eyes get used to the darkness.
One fine morning a roe deer, the one that I would come to call by the French name Daguet, crosses my path and comes to a standstill a few steps away from me. Very slowly, I crouch down. I am fascinated by his big, shiny black eyes. We stare at one another for a few minutes, which seem to last for hours. He turns away and plunges into the undergrowth.