Monday, January 11, 2010

Deer Encounter of the Venison Kind

January 11, 2010
Deer Me

I’m standing in my bedroom brushing my Rapunzel-like hair when a shiver surges up my spine as I sense someone’s eyes upon me. While my heart hammers out the drum solo to “Wipeout,” I slowly turn toward the window to confront the interloper. I gasp and drop my brush as I lock eyes with those of the Peeping Tom – because it’s a Peeping Buck!
As I dive for cover in a ludicrous attempt to locate some decent clothing (like the deer is interested in my attire?), I realize how ridiculous I must look to the deer. He must be thinking, “Look at that silly, tall mammal with the straggly hair, diving for cover as if I have a gun and I’m hunting HER?! I mean, really…if you want to talk about your close calls. How about that time I was in the middle of the forest, on the opining day of deer hunting season, and that horrible barbarian in that flaring vet lifted his rifle up to his shoulder and…”
Uh, sorry. I got lost in the deer’s viewpoint. I’d like to continue now.
This set me to thinking about how, where I live, we’re lucky enough to have these beautiful creatures come along at any time of the day or night and suck down hundreds of dollars of deer-proof vegetation right in our very own backyards.
At first, I rather enjoyed the frequent visits of these leggy, doe-eyed creatures. My children and I exclaimed in wonderment as we noted the “racks” on the big, aging bucks and we squealed with delight over all of those little Bambi’s running around on spindly legs, oftentimes just hours after birth.
I wasn’t living in my house for more than one week when I sought the acquisition of a lovely rosebush which boasted the most incredible deep, red hue of rose imaginable. Unfortunately, I’m still imagining it. Shortly after committing this delightful plant to soil, I noticed one of the fauna gobbling up the last, tender leaves of my precious flora.
That didn’t faze me. I was somewhat upset that I had willingly led a defenseless plant to its untimely death, but, later, friends informed me that, unbeknownst to me, my choice was one of the favorite taste treats of the deer, so I shrugged it off as an honest mistake of one so new to the ways of the deer.
My next bright idea was to plant grass. I purchased some tough, guaranteed-to-grow-in-concrete seed and as each rain fell, I delighted in the appearance of my new little green crew cut corner that was getting healthier day by growing day.
Then, on the last one of those days, I looked out my window and my breath caught in my throat. I cried out in anguish. Where once there was a lovely, even growth of one-inch, green shoots that my family would one day walk on, there was now a family of deer walking – standing really – in my patch of wondrous chlorophyll and nibbling on the last strands of my turf.
As I furiously tapped on the glass, hissing, “Naughty deer, naughty deer, scat, scat,” those venison-on-the-hoof did the metaphorical equivalent of using their collective deer napkins and slowly made their way out of my decimated, once grass knoll.
But I could have handled even that. The atrocity that I cannot accept is my lack of privacy. If I had the proverbial dollar for every time I caught a deer nonchalantly gazing in to my window as if I were a member of a Human Zoo, I would have enough money to put a fence around my yard. I feel as though the deer are always reading my human plaque that describes me as a point of interest along the Subdivision Human Zoo.
“Middle-aged Woman. Indigenous to the United States. Life expectancy: 93, if she avoids cholesterol and exercises every solstice. Favorite Food: Venison. This is when I would expect the deer to bolt. Amble is more like it.
I decided to discuss my frustration with my husband so I waited patiently one Sunday night. The children were bathed and asleep in their little beds, the dogs were in a dog-chew stupor, having consumed three chews per dog, the cat was in the twelfth hour of her twenty-four hour nap and my husband had just finished watching “60 Minutes.” In short, the family was relaxed, physically and mathematically.
I turned to this wonderful life partner of mine for yea these many years and I poured out the aforementioned story. He took a few moments, seeming to contemplate all that I had said. I waited patiently. Not my strong suit.
It was worth the wait because he provided me with a response that I will never forget or let him forget. He said, “Sounds like you need to close the drapes.”

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