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Deer

Supposed by poets to shed tears. The drops, however, which fall from their eyes are not tears, but an oily secretion from the so-called tear-pits.

A poor sequestered stag ...
Did come to languish ... and the big round tears 
Coursed one another down his innocent nose
In piteous chase.

Shakespeare: As You Like It, ii. 2.

Small deer.
Any small animal; and used metaphorically for any collection of trifles or trifling matters.

But mice and rats, and such small deer,
Have been Tom's food for seven long year.

Shakespeare: Lear, iii.4.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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