Sunday, January 10, 2010

Deer Night

I love it that we never know what will happen when we walk out our front door.  This non-homogenized aspect of life appeals to me, in spite of occasional inconvenience.

Our yard is a certified wildlife habitat.  Even so, Denny and I have a checkered relationship with the local deer population.  We run out clapping and yelling to scare them away whenever we see them close to the house.  Deer are beautiful animals.  But I don't want deer in my yard pulling up my plants and scaring away the birds. 

I understand the other side.  Our plot was deer turf first.  And our next-door neighbors host a professional-grade corn feeder with a rattling jingle like a church-bell calling the faithful to mass.  To a deer our place is just the prelude to dessert.

We might be losing the battle.  The same two does show up every day.  Teach their fawns to drink from our bird-baths, nap in the seasonal tall grasses.  In a few years there will be a herd milling around the front porch.

The other night, late-ish, Denny drove out to the community mailboxes.  Down the street, a left and a left and a right and a turn, several miles of quiet, unlit, two-lane road.  Time to see the moon and think thoughts. 

When he walked back into my computer room, he looked dazed.  "A deer hit me."

It usually happens the other way 'round, since cars go quite a bit faster than a deer runs. But I didn't say that out loud.  Denny wouldn't have felt better for hearing it.

After the are-you-all-rights and how-did-it-happens, we trooped out to the garage to look at the car.  Denny was right about the collision; it was obvious from the angle of the damage.  You'd be surprised at how much a deer springing out of the black night can do to a car puttering along at 25 miles an hour.  I'm glad Denny's seat belt was fastened and he wasn't hurt.  Which is surely not true of the deer, judging from the wrinkles, breakage, bendings and scrapings on our car.

The next  morning, as I pulled out of the garage on the way to the repair shop, I was a little concerned I'd find the deer laid out on the driveway, come home to die and succeeding.

Thankfully not.

We're driving a rental car now, until ours graduates from finishing school.  I'm hoping it comes out better than the one parked out front of the repair shop.

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