In one of my favorite scenes in the fun 1992 comedy My Cousin Vinny Marisa Tomei, in full “Mona Lisa Vitti,” mode, finds out that her lawyer fiancé, the title character, plans to bond with a Southern judge on his case by going out hunting, where they might encounter all sorts of animals, including deer. “A sweet, innocent, harmless, leaf-eating, doe-eyed little de-ah!” she protests.
Ms. Tomei would have been in her element this past Friday, when, like myself, she could have encountered four examples of the “doe-eyed little de-ah!” that sparked her outrage. They were on the edge of Demarest Nature Center, a 44-acre natural preserve a few miles from where I live in Bergen County, N.J. They stood several yards apart from each other, watching me blankly, innocently. Then, when I passed by, they walked in a group across the railroad tracks. I stood back, not wanting to disturb the poor creatures--and, given recent news reports about their increasing numbers in this area, not wanting to get close enough to pick up ticks.