Deer are associated with gentleness, tenderness, and vulnerability. Consequently, to dream of a deer is a sign that your tenderness, compassion, and understanding will be required to help someone who needs protection. It can also be an indication that you're easily hurt and would benefit from some gentle nurturing and pampering. People used to believe that deer shed tears. However, it is now known that what appear to be tears are actually oily secretions from tear pits. William Shakespeare mentioned the tears of a deer: "A poor sequester'd stag, That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt, Did come to languish . . . and the big round tears Cours'd one another down his innocent nose In piteous chase." (As You Like It, act 2, scene 1.) The deer is the subject of many legends in China. The word deer (Zu) is a homophone of a word that means "prosperity." Deer are also considered a sign of longevity, as their horns are one of the ingredients in an herbal medicine to promote longevity. Consequently, in China, to dream of a deer is a sign that you'll do well financially and enjoy a long life.