Look at that bunch of cows.
Not bunch, herd.
Herd of cows.
Sure I’ve heard of cows.
No, I mean a cow herd.
What do I care what a cow heard? I got no secrets from a cow!
Now that I’ve milked that pun for a few laughs, let’s consider this week’s word.
When referring to deer, herd seems a bit numerous, as does the word bunch. While they can leap, they can’t fly, so they’re not a flock. A small group of specifically Whitetail deer are a bevy, while a group of any kind of deer is properly known as a rangale. Crows would murder for a cumulative title like that.
The term began with an old word that became range, in modern English. It grew up in French as the word rengaille, which came to be known as the dregs of an army. When the military had fought a battle, or won a war, and were drifting home, or back to base, in small, rag-tag, non-uniform-sized, unsupervised clots of clods, the small groups were rangales.
When William the Conqueror graciously visited the Enchanted Island, the term came to be applied to similar small groups of deer. When we have journeyed into the United States on vacation trips, occasionally we have seen deer feeding beside the road, usually at dusk. Actually, it happens more often to the wife than me. Screaming down I-95 at 75MPH, trying to keep ahead of some semi that seems to want to park in my trunk, is not the time to go, “Oh, look at Bambi and his mom.”
If COVID dies before I do. I have hopes for more trips, and more deer-sightings. If I am lucky, and successful at both, now I know what to call them. Other than Rivergirl, who seems to live on a migration pathway, how many of you have been fortunate enough to see a group of deer in the wild? 😕