Wanted…Schizophrenic Deer

Deer. Dear me.  I’m sure there is a purpose for them outside of being the bane of many a person’s existence.  I’m still trying to figure out what exactly the purpose is, though.  While I fully acknowledge (and dislike) that we as humans have taken away much of the deer’s habitat and continue to do so, I also must acknowledge how utterly brainless deer appear to be.  The proof of their brainless-ness?  The amount of accidents that deer cause and the amount of lifeless deer bodies (in various stages of dismemberment) that litter many a road’s surface.   Between dead deer, squirrels, birds, skunks, and bunnies, it’s a veritable obstacle course out there.

I think most of us have at least one deer story. Many involve them leaping out of nowhere and disappearing back to the abyss they seemingly came from like ghost deer, sometimes leaving considerable damage to our unsuspecting vehicles in their wake.  I have to wonder what possesses them to seemingly leap, dart, and sprint to an almost certain death.  Are they suicide bombers sacrificing themselves for the good of all deer-kind?  Are they daredevil deer, seeking a thrill where there is a 90 percent chance that they might not make it out alive?  Whatever the case, I am convinced that deer are crazy.

About a week ago, I was on my way to my usual Saturday morning Pilates class, innocently driving at a speed of 25 mph along a very narrow road in a wooded area. I always have in the back of my mind that there is a high probability that I will encounter at least one deer along this stretch of road.  In the fourteen years that I have been passing along this road, I have never met a deer.  Until last week.  As I crested the hill, I saw him in all his crazy glory.  He just stood there in the middle of the road.  Staring.  Blankly staring.  Blankly staring at me.  It was rather unsettling.  I had come to a stop, but as I slowly inched forward, Mr. Deer seemed to snap out of his trance a little.  He spastically darted over to the left and tentatively placed two hooves up on the hillside, making me believe he was going to climb up it so I could go merrily on my way.  Nope.  He backed down and moved an inch to his right, repeating the same movements he had a moment ago.  Obviously not liking this option either, he jerks around to face me again, crazed look in his eyes.  At this point, about 3-4 minutes have passed by, and I am starting to get a bit impatient, so I start yelling at the deer like he can hear me or understand me, “COME ON YOU STUPID DEER!!!!  MOVE!!!!!!!”  I flash my lights at him, and this seems to break his possibly drug-induced psychedelic reverie.  He darts back and forth a couple of times, giving me reason to believe he may be border-line schizophrenic.  Before shooting over to the right side of the road (since the left was not to his liking) he stares me down one more time.  “COME ON DEER!!!!!!!!!  MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!  GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!!!”  He flings himself over to the guard rail and places a tentative hoof atop it, but like the tease he is, puts the hoof back down.  He repeats this move two more times and finally hurls himself over the guard rail and, I pray, down the hill.  Given this particular deer’s unpredictability, I am hesitant to continue along lest he has an entire posse of schizophrenic ninja deer just waiting to attack my car.

I let another minute elapse, garner my courage, and slowly proceed. Luckily, this deer that quite possibly should belong in a straitjacket must have disappeared.  I had no further encounters.  Shockingly, my car and I escaped this unexpected meeting unscathed with a rather comical story to tell.  But just a word of warning…keep your eyes out for a schizophrenic ninja deer.  You never know when or where he might appear.


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