Sunday, May 20, 2012

Deer Dynasty

I am uncertain as to why they have chosen our neighborhood in which to congregate. Outside appearances would suggest that it wouldn’t be the likeliest choice for privacy, or even an area that would provide protection from the elements. One would think that roaming in the woods, grazing and frolicking with forest friends, would better suit their needs and overall temperament.

Previous encounters with deer have not resulted in positive experiences. They are more aggressive than the movie, Bambi, would have you believe and are slowly taking over our section of the city. I hear that they are even cutting in line in front of our chocolate lab, Sophie, as she waits patiently for her Bojangles biscuit each morning.

As much as deer annoy me, I couldn’t help but cringe at the real life episode of Deer Dynasty that happened just a few yards away from me.

(Special note: Deer Dynasty is my play on Duck Dynasty, a reality television show that has provided my family with hours of entertainment. It is so stinking funny and will make you happy, happy, happy.

An additional note: There is a photo below that is somewhat graphic. It is kid’s stuff for those of you who hunt, and creepy stuff for those of you who don’t. Please proceed with gastrointestinal caution.)

A few weeks ago, I was working in our home office,  contemplating new ideas that could possibly entice my husband to fire me, relieving me of responsibilities that include the begrudges of quarterly taxes and insurance companies that delight in providing reimbursement 120 days after submission,  when a flurry of commotion caught my attention. Facing a window that provided a view of our front yard and beyond, I was startled to see three police cars wheel into my next door neighbor’s drive way.

I immediately did what any concerned citizen would do and grabbed my camera with telephoto lens. A response some might call nosy, but one I would like to think of more as curiously aware. Regardless, documentation would be needed to justify the release of the metal chains that imprisoned me to the work desk, an excuse note of sorts for the boss man more concerned about office utilities being paid in a timely manner than my amateurish attempts at neighborhood paparazzi.

Five police officers stepped out of their vehicles and huddled together in what seemed to be serious, tactical discussion. I stood on my front porch, camera in one hand and cell phone in the other, trying to decide if there was time to call my neighbor, Cammie, to join me in my crime watching efforts.

Suddenly, one of the officers removed himself from the group and in purposeful strides made it to the trunk of his vehicle. He pulled out long, latex gloves - the kind my husband uses for the unmentionables that occur in his exam room - and slid them on up to his elbows.

Just as I began to imagine the elaborate crime scene the policeman was going to investigate and wondering if I should offer my services as photographer, I spotted the object of his intentions. My stomach flip-flopped in the same way it did when I was pregnant and accepted that the stork would not be involved in the delivery of my baby.

A large, unfortunate deer with questionable jumping abilities had tried to scale an iron fence, miscalculating the height that would lead to its demise.  The animal was hanging upside down, hind quarters gruesomely impaled on the iron spokes, a ghastly sight that left me momentarily dizzy.

I watched the gloved officer walk slowly toward the animal, carrying a large stick in his right hand. Despite my nausea and shaky knees, I pulled myself together to photograph what happened next. I am tough like that.

The man eased closer to the fence until he was just inches from the dead deer. He lifted the stick and poked the animal in the side, and without warning, the deer raised his head and brayed loudly in the officer’s face, baring teeth and tongue in a way that makes Freddy Krueger seem friendly. The man stumbled backwards, surely wetting his pants in the process, and in a cartoonish panic backtracked in a canter/ crawl to a safe distance.

For fifteen minutes, I watched the officers gather again in a group to discuss the severity of the situation. The deer was now very agitated, and none of the men in blue wanted to repeat the ordeal as experienced by their damp comrade. One pulled out a cell phone and began talking in animated expression.  I wondered if he was calling his supervisor, animal control or another officer to bring a pair of dry uniform pants. It turned out that it wasn’t any of these options.

A few minutes later, a beat up Bronco pulled into the driveway. A fellow in camouflage hat and t-shirt emblazoned with “Sponsored by Beer” emerged from the vehicle. Without hesitation, he walked to my neighbor’s yard to get a closer inspection of the deer. 

With a plan in mind, the man took off his white tennis shoes, and then planted himself in a bear hug position behind the animal.

With a grunt and a thrust, he lifted the deer off of the fence and dropped it ceremoniously to the ground. The white shoes didn’t suffer a single scratch.

He hauled the animal across the yard……

And then loaded it into the back of his Bronco.

I would like to think that the man took the deer off to a secluded place in the forest , burying  him after a meaningful recitation of  the Lord’s Prayer. But my Southern roots know better, and accept that the deer ended up grilled to medium rare perfection, devoured by a table full of good ol’ boys enjoying a fine meal and an elaborate tale about law enforcement  incontinence. 

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